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WHY ARE ORGANISMS DIFFERENT FROM MACHINES?
http://www.people.vcu.edu/~mikuleck/PPRISS3.html ^ | Donald C. Mikulecky

Posted on 05/23/2009 3:12:02 PM PDT by betty boop

An excerpt from

ROBERT ROSEN: THE WELL POSED QUESTION AND ITS ANSWER — WHY ARE ORGANISMS DIFFERENT FROM MACHINES?

By Donald C. Mikulecky
Department of Physiology
Medical Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University

The Well Posed Question and Its Answer

Science, perception and measurement: The role of the modeling relation
In order to be able to deal with some very confusing issues, it is necessary to formulate just what it is we think we are doing when we carry out this function called “science.” In a very real sense what we mean by science is the ultimate version of what humans do quite regularly, namely the perception of their world. The “perception of the world” is merely the way humans turn sensory information into awareness. What is that all about? Here's one idea that will serve the purpose for this discussion (Fischler and Firschein, 1987, 233)

“No finite organism can completely model the infinite universe, but even more to the point, the senses can only provide a subset of the needed information; the organism must correct the measured values and guess at the needed missing ones.”... “Indeed, even the best guesses can only be an approximation to reality — perception is a creative process.”

This simple observation is fraught with meaning. So much meaning that it is worth examining its implication in some detail.

The traditional view of science: the role of measurement
Science is the way we have developed to avoid our perception’s being “creative” in the above sense. Science is a creative endeavor, but the creativity must not cloud our sensation of the world in any way. In order to accomplish this we have developed a methodology that is supposed to prevent our minds from tampering with the sensory information. We call this measurement. Often the methodology that insures this “objective” view of the world is called the scientific method. It should be clear that our notion of objectivity is intimately associated with this concept.

Rosen's treatment of measurement
Since Rosen devoted at least an entire book to this topic (Rosen, 1978), it will be necessary to give a summary here. The process of measurement is something Rosen saw as related to a number of other important concepts that will be involved in this development. Along with measurement are recognition, discrimination, and classification. It is impossible (even if desirable to some) to reduce the issue of measurement to something independent of these other factors as we shall see.

Two propositions are axiomatic in the formalization of the role of measurement in our perception. Bear in mind that what is being developed here is a way of dealing with the traditional view of science.

PROPOSITION 1: “The only meaningful physical events which occur in the world are represented by the evaluation of observables on states.”

PROPOSITION 2: “Every observable can be regarded as a mapping from states to real numbers.”

Rosen warns us that the consequences of adopting these propositions as a mode of operation are very profound. They are, however, the kind of price science is willing to pay for its claim to be able to minimize the role of the conscious mind in the perception of sensory information. It should be clear that the act of measurement is an abstraction. We will return to this point shortly. The trade off is in the belief that, by making this abstraction, the “world” has qualities which, when measured properly, are common to all objective observers. A quote from Fundamentals of Measurement sums it all up very well:

It is essential to realize at this point that the formalism to be developed, although we cast it initially primarily in the framework of natural systems, is in fact applicable to any situation in which a class of objects is associated with real numbers, or in fact classified or indexed by any set whatever. It is thus applicable to any situation in which classification, or recognition, or discrimination is involved; indeed, one of the aims of our formalism is to point up the essential equivalence of the measurement problem in physics with all types of recognition or classification mechanisms based on observable properties of the objects being recognized or classified.

The modeling relation: how we perceive
The modeling relation is based on the universally accepted belief that the world has some sort of order associated with it; it is not a hodge-podge of seemingly random happenings. It depicts the elements of assigning interpretations to events in the world . The best treatment of the modeling relation appears in the book Anticipatory Systems (Rosen, 1985, pp 45–220). Rosen introduces the modeling relation to focus thinking on the process we carry out when we “do science.” In its most detailed form, it is a mathematical object, but it will be presented in a less formal way here. It should be noted that the mathematics involved is among the most sophisticated available to us. In its purest form, it is called “category theory” [Rosen, 1978, 1985, 1991]. Category theory is a stratified or hierarchical structure without limit, which makes it suitable for modeling the process of modeling itself.

Rosen Modeling Relation

Figure 1. The modeling relation.

Figure 1 represents the modeling relation in a pictorial form. The figure shows two systems, a natural system and a formal system related by a set of arrows depicting processes and/or mappings. The assumption is that when we are “correctly” perceiving our world, we are carrying out a special set of processes that this diagram represents. The natural system is something that we wish to understand. In particular, arrow 1 depicts causality in the natural world. This idea will need some additional explanation further on. On the right is some creation of our mind or something our mind uses in order to try to deal with observations or experiences we have. The arrow 3 is called “implication” and represents some way in which we manipulate the formal system to try to mimic causal events observed or hypothesized in the natural system on the left. The arrow 2, is some way we have devised to encode the natural system or, more likely select aspects of it (having performed a measurement as described above), into the formal system. Finally, the arrow 4 is a way we have devised to decode the result of the implication event in the formal system to see if it represents the causal event’s result in the natural system. Clearly, this is a delicate process and has many potential points of failure. When we are fortunate to have avoided these failures, we actually have succeeded in having the following relationship be true:

1 = 2 + 3 + 4.

When this is true, we say that the diagram commutes and that we have produced a model of our world.

Please note that the encoding and decoding mappings are independent of the formal and/or natural systems. In other words, there is no way to arrive at them from within the formal system or natural system. This makes modeling as much an art as it is a part of science. Unfortunately, this is probably one of the least well appreciated aspects of the manner in which science is actually practiced and, therefore, one which is often actively denied. It is this fact, among others, which makes the notion of objectivity as defined above have a very shaky foundation. How could such a notion become so widely accepted?

The Newtonian Paradigm and the modeling relation
Traditional science as described above is the result of many efforts, yet it has a core set of beliefs underlying it which Rosen refers to as The Newtonian Paradigm. There is no strict definition of what this is, but it is the entire attitude and approach that arises after Newton introduced his mechanics, especially, his mathematical approach. It certainly embodies the ideas of Descartes and the heliocentrists, for example. It also embodies all of the changes brought about by quantum mechanics. It is so much what modern science is that it could almost be used as a synonym. For these reasons, it has had a profound effect on our perception. It is so powerful a thought pattern that it has seemed to make the modeling relation superfluous. For The Newtonian Paradigm, all of nature encodes into this formal system and then can be decoded. All our models come from this one largest model of nature. In the modeling relation, the formal system lies over the natural system and the encoding and decoding are masked so that the formal system is the real world. The fact that this is not the case is far from obvious to most. The task then, is to understand why.

Putting it all together: the modeling relation is the key
Rosen calls the results of our sensory experiences as they manifest themselves in our awareness percepts. If all we did were to use measurement to objectively become aware of what our senses pick up, the situation would be simple. We would be like a piece of magnetic tape or computer memory filing away this information as it comes in. The key word in the definition of percept is awareness. There is more to that awareness than a mere entering into memory. The first thing we would have to do, even to merely file the information correctly, is to discriminate and classify. In short, we form relations between percepts. What is fascinating about this is the fact that these relationships between percepts can be matched by relationships between objects used in the formal system. Here is the place where semiotics and other aspects of our thought process get mixed into the process in an irreducible way (Dress, 1998,1999). [Itals added for emphasis in this passage.]

The confusion that arises from the failure to recognize this process at work is immense. Rosen’s whole concept of the modeling relation is the explanation for why words like complexity and emergence have become so popular. The suppression of awareness of the process by the Newtonian Paradigm resulted in some real problems, surprises, and errors. It was not until there was widespread recognition, consciously or unconsciously, that this paradigm was inadequate that these words became widely talked about. The world as modeled by the Newtonian Paradigm was but one possible picture of the world. Rosen named this world the world of simple systems or mechanisms.

There is another world, namely the one containing the natural systems we seek to understand, which cannot be totally captured by the Newtonian model. This world, in fact, cannot be captured by any number of formal systems except in the limit of all such systems. The name of this world is the world of the complex. Emergence then is the phenomenon of being surprised when the real world doesn’t conform to the simple model, in other words, the discovery of its complexity. Since the entire real world is complex, discussions of degrees of complexity refer to the nature and number of formal systems being used to create models within the modeling relation. Unless this is realized, the amount of confusion generated trying to classify things by their complexity can be immense. There are many other definitions of complexity (Horgan, 1996) that exemplify this confusion.

Given the modeling relation and the detailed structural correspondence between our percepts and the formal systems into which we encode them, it is possible to make a dichotomous classification between various models of the real world. These models are either simple mechanisms or complex systems. It then becomes possible to formulate the “what is life” question in an entirely new way, one which leads immediately to an answer.

Complex systems and machines: why are they different?
The answer to this question is implicit in the discussion of the modeling relation above. In order to make it explicit, there are some very important epistemological prerequisites that must be accepted. This acceptance may be for the sake of the argument or it may be a total change in direction for anyone seeking to do science in the future. The case will be made systematically.

What is a machine?
The discussion of the modeling relation established that the world of the Newtonian Paradigm is a world of simple mechanisms or machines. As Rosen began to apply this idea to the world, he saw that it had an extremely general categorical application. To say it as concisely as possible, this world was the world described by Church’s Thesis. In other words, it is a totally syntactic world, one that can be constructed by algorithms and simulated. It has a largest model from which all other models can be derived. Its models have the nature that analytic models and synthetic models are the same. This leads to their reducibility, the whole is merely the sum of their parts. The machine which becomes a prototype of this general description is the Universal Turing Machine. Thus all of computer simulation, Artificial Life and Artificial Intelligence are part of this world. The fact that these are not part of the world of complex systems is directly contradictory to the claims being made by most that have espoused the “new science” of complexity. Church’s Thesis says that all effective systems are computable. Rosen’s work says that Church’s thesis is false. There is no middle ground here. The difference is one of profound epistemological significance. There is still another distinction that must wait until the subject of causality and entailment is discussed. For it is in that discussion that the most profound epistemological change will be realized. Before delving into that matter we will compare complex systems to machines.

What is a complex system and why is a complex system different from a machine?
A complex system falls outside the formalism called the Newtonian Paradigm. That is not to say that complex systems cannot be seen as machines for limited kinds of analysis. This is, in fact, what traditional science does. Using Rosen’s general characteristics to separate the two kinds of objects, we see that complex systems contain semantic aspects which cannot be reduced to syntax. Therefore they are not simulatable even though, when viewed as machines, the machine model is simulatable. They have no largest model from which all other models can be derived. This is simply because complex systems, by their very nature, require multiple distinct ways of interacting with them to capture their qualities. Their models are now distinct. Analytic models, which are expressed mathematically as direct products of quotient spaces are no longer equivalent to synthetic models which are built up from disjoint pieces as direct sums. Using this formulation, every synthetic model is an analytic model, but there are analytic models which are not synthetic models. In other words, these analytic models are not reducible to disjoint sets of parts. This is a most profound distinction and requires some elaboration, for in it lies the essence of the failure of reductionism. In the machine, each model analytic or synthetic, is formulated in terms of the material parts of the system. Thus any model will be reducible and can be reconstructed from its parts.

This is not the case in a complex system. There are certain key models which are formulated in an entirely different way. These models are made up of functional components which do not map to the material parts in any one-to-one manner. The functional component itself is totally dependent on the context of the whole system and has no meaning outside that context. This is why reducing the system to its material parts loses information irreversibly. This is a cornerstone to the overall discovery Rosen made. It captures a real difference between complexity and reductionism which no other approach seems to have been able to formulate. This distinction makes it impossible to confuse computer models with complex systems. It also explains how there can be real “objective” aspects of a complex system that are to be considered along with the material parts, but which have a totally different character. Finally, this distinction between functional components and parts can be realized with an appropriate formalism. This formalism is called Relational after Rashevsky's Relational Biology (Rashevsky, 1954). [Itals added for emphasis in this passage.]

* * * * * * *

End of excerpt. Read at the above link for details of Rosen’s profoundly important (it seems to me, FWIW) insights.

Scientists who may be inclined to resist this new direction (which is tantamount to putting the formal and final causes which Francis Bacon banished from the scientific method back into the mix) perhaps need to be reminded that recent developments in the biosemiotics field (not to mention complexity and information science) increasingly point to the idea that meaning (formal cause) and purpose (final cause) really do operate in Nature. In Rosen, the semiotics (also called semantics) — the science of definition, or meaning — belongs to the “formal” system. The material system expresses the “syntax” — or “rules of the grammatical road” (so to speak) that express the meaning of the formal system, particularly as it refers to the question, “What is Life?”

Please go to the above link for an edifying, fascinating discussion of these issues that are rising to the fore in the natural sciences.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: biosemiotics; mechanism; newton; observerproblem
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"[The late] Robert Rosen, a student of Nicholas Rashevsky and a product of the Mathematical Biology program at the University of Chicago started one line of research that grappled with the question [of discriminating organisms from machines] in the late 1950s. It is worth examining the progression, which lead Bob Rosen to realize that he was dealing with a poorly posed question and that when rephrased, the question had an earthshaking answer."

I found Mikulecky's article an absolutely astounding and valuable read — FWIW!

1 posted on 05/23/2009 3:12:03 PM PDT by betty boop
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To: Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; allmendream; ...
Question: Do we have a potential "paradigm shift" on our hands here?

What do you think?

2 posted on 05/23/2009 3:16:24 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: betty boop

I think its to much reading for a Saturday afternoon


3 posted on 05/23/2009 3:19:03 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: betty boop
You're not an agent provocateur for Cyberdyne systems, are you? :)


4 posted on 05/23/2009 3:21:00 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, John 11:25, 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13, John 6:69)
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To: betty boop
The question is ridiculous.

Why is air different than dirt?
Who is Spain?

5 posted on 05/23/2009 3:25:59 PM PDT by bill1952 (Power is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: betty boop

Organisms are mushy and machines are not.


6 posted on 05/23/2009 3:26:55 PM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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To: betty boop

read later


7 posted on 05/23/2009 3:28:27 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (When do the impeachment proceedings begin?)
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To: betty boop

Yikes!

This is a heck of a read! Perhaps you can distill the point of the article?


8 posted on 05/23/2009 3:30:46 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: betty boop
Machines can't get drunk?

lol

Anyway, I have been thinking about this a lot lately. One could argue that we are bio-mechanical robots. And one could argue that we are not. I'm not diving into that debate, though.
9 posted on 05/23/2009 3:31:08 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: betty boop

Is this sort of like mortal man trying to explain the immortal? Can we ever understand creation? I don’t think so, but then again I could be wrong for I am just a mortal man. :-)


10 posted on 05/23/2009 3:39:03 PM PDT by mc5cents (Show me just what Mohammd brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman)
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To: betty boop
WHY ARE ORGANISMS DIFFERENT FROM MACHINES?

Because (intelligent) organisms build machines and not the other way around.

11 posted on 05/23/2009 3:39:30 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: bill1952
Why is air different than dirt?

Oh, that one is easy. Answer: Because we say it is. Plus we have lots of "science" that can "prove" it. Got it?

12 posted on 05/23/2009 3:42:41 PM PDT by mc5cents (Show me just what Mohammd brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman)
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To: Paladin2

And they aren’t tasty when BBQ’d.


13 posted on 05/23/2009 3:42:51 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (ALSO SPRACH ZEROTHUSTRA)
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To: betty boop

Does this mean SUV’s have a right to life?


14 posted on 05/23/2009 3:43:53 PM PDT by NeoConfederate
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To: betty boop
WHY ARE ORGANISMS DIFFERENT FROM MACHINES?

What is an organism? Sounds like the question he is really asking is why is life or the life force different from a machine. Its an odd question to me.

15 posted on 05/23/2009 3:47:57 PM PDT by valkyry1
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To: betty boop

It may become one of the most important and hotly contested issues of this century.


16 posted on 05/23/2009 3:52:33 PM PDT by tentmaker
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To: valkyry1

I would answer the question with a rift on the temporal nature of each ... machines are stuck in linear time whereas organisms (the soul; not the spirit, the soul, as in all living things; we humans have a spirit component, too) exist in planar time and use linear temporal aspects for expression in linear time.


17 posted on 05/23/2009 3:55:27 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

They also taste different when mixed in the blender.


18 posted on 05/23/2009 4:08:13 PM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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To: Paladin2; MHGinTN

lol — your comment follows MHGinTN’s perfectly.


19 posted on 05/23/2009 4:26:04 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: F15Eagle; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; ...
My God, F15Eagle, but that is the very spitting image of me!!! LOL!!!

Seriously, among other things Rosen's work "comforts us" that Cyberdyne's intelligent yet malignant robots can be safely consigned to the realm of science fiction, and need not be entertained as a possibility capable of realization in any real human future.

Unless they find a way (are programmed by their designers) to be originators and willing agents of "formal causes." I don't know how it is even possible for such a thing to be accomplished — but the AI folks around here might have some ideas about that. And if they do, I hope they will weigh in with their insights here, soon.

I further acknowledge this subject matter deals with an entirely open question at this point. But a potentially immensely fruitful one. And I can tell you that there are scientists who appreciate Rosen's insights, and are now following his lead....

For instance, see an article by Kineman, J.J. and Kineman, J.R., "Life and Space-Time Cosmology." It was presented at the Proceedings of the 44thAnnual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Science. Toronto, Canada. ISSS, in 2000. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be available at their site. (Why it is so difficult to locate on-line is beyond me.) But a friend who attended passed along a copy of the presentation, in Word format. If you'd like to see it, give me a yell via private FReepmail.

20 posted on 05/23/2009 4:26:58 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: tentmaker
It may become one of the most important and hotly contested issues of this century.

I daresay you are probably exactly right about that, tentmaker!

21 posted on 05/23/2009 4:28:28 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: valkyry1
Sounds like the question he is really asking is why is life or the life force different from a machine. Its an odd question to me.

Why does it seem "odd" to you, valkyry1? Surely you notice that there is a significant difference between you and, say, your vacuum cleaner. It seems to me (at least) that this difference is worth exploring/explaining.

22 posted on 05/23/2009 4:32:45 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: onedoug
Because (intelligent) organisms build machines and not the other way around.

Spot-on onedoug! But then, Why is it that it's not the "other way around?" This, I think, is the explanation that Rosen was looking for.

23 posted on 05/23/2009 4:36:14 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: betty boop

The real dangers are those of haphazard code or unforseen circumstances involving input (from failed or possibly failed) sensors, hacking or other dormant routines, or a little too loosey-goosey with allowing the programmed machine to be “creative” ...

AND

giving that machine too much power / access ...

For example, nobody (sane) would let the machine fire off nuclear ICBM’s without multiple checkpoints (authorized human confirmation). This was the theoretical nightmare of the movie “Colosseus: The Forbin Project”. The machine got too much power and had the ability of creative thought, supposedly, based on its vast knowledge base.

There are definitely going to be more robot-type vehicles, unmanned that is, on the battlefields of the future.


24 posted on 05/23/2009 4:37:20 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, John 11:25, 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13, John 6:69)
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To: F15Eagle

the latter s/b “or partially-failed sensors”


25 posted on 05/23/2009 4:50:06 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, John 11:25, 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5, John 3:17-18, John 20:31, 1 John 5:13, John 6:69)
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To: betty boop

bump and book mark for later reading. And yes i’d like that word article too. :)


26 posted on 05/23/2009 4:54:47 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We either Free America ourselves, or it is midnight for humanity for a thousand years.)
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To: betty boop
What's strange is, we may not possess all of the 'sensory' apprati necessary to completely understand 'reality'.

Machines seem to be an extension of our senses- fine tuned to deliver informantion that would otherwise be impossible for us to see, hear, etc.(x-rays)

There may be other stimuli (or forces) at work in nature that, due to our 'insensitivity', we're incapable of measuring. That we never developed a 'receptor' for it was because it wasn't paramount to our survival.

Fear of the Unknown is the blanket treatment we've developed for just such things. Have you ever wondered why you picked up something to read and found it addressed something you've been acutely interested in? Or changed a channel to something that again, hit the mark? Or maybe you've been in a life threatening situation and came out unscathed and wondered, "How did I survive this?"

There may be nothing at all to these 'observations' but, building machines capable of 'sensing' them would be neat. If, these are true 'forces', and we could discover where to look for them, that is. It'll probably happen by accident if it happens at all.

27 posted on 05/23/2009 4:57:45 PM PDT by budwiesest (2010 had better bring some big changes.)
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To: betty boop
I wish I had not lost my first post to you a good while back. But the short version is, men make machines while life is unfathomable.

Surely you notice that there is a significant difference between you and, say, your vacuum cleaner.

Of course I notice. I guess we are all in different places along this journey and asking different questions, and his questions are not mine.

To extend on your electric appliance analogy, I can also see a difference from myself and electro-chemical reactions, a mountain rock slide, or a hurricane.

28 posted on 05/23/2009 5:19:23 PM PDT by valkyry1
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To: betty boop

Why not? (if we are going to ax silly questions)


29 posted on 05/23/2009 5:34:58 PM PDT by webschooner
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To: valkyry1

geezzzzz...for a moment there I thought the headline was speaking about an Orgasmism....OH GOSH TOO MUCH WINE...LOL!!


30 posted on 05/23/2009 8:19:08 PM PDT by RoseofTexas
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To: budwiesest

IMHO, yours is one of the closest to get it right.

The same question is essentially what Adam performed in the Garden of Eden, naming all the animals. The action of naming, was more than simply identifying a verbal expression with an object. Rather, the name is an expression of the essence of the object/subject being named.

When Adam had body, soul, and spirit, and presented with other living beings which had body and soul, but lacking the spirit, which presented humans as having been made in His image, Adam was able to then discern between the animals and God in fellowship with Him.


31 posted on 05/23/2009 8:33:24 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: RoseofTexas

Sounds like the start of of a new Saturday Night thread with lots of possibilities! LOL!


32 posted on 05/23/2009 8:46:19 PM PDT by valkyry1
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Whosoever
Actually the human body is quite machine like..
No....., exactly machine like..

A strong "proof" that the human body and human spirit are two different things.. as I speculate..
The human body can and does cease to operate often..
The spirit does not..

33 posted on 05/23/2009 10:50:56 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Cvengr
Our reality may be populated with activity we have no way of sensing. Well, more like we haven't developed the ability to sense beyond those that we use currently (which is pretty impressive- but I hear, only ten percent).

I have a problem believing in things I can't see. But I'm not alone.

When something hits me in the head- and I didn't see it?- I respect it. Ask anyone over 6 feet tall (come to think of it, my foot is at least a foot long- now that you mention feet) how many times they've been smacked in the head. Ever have a car drive over your foot? Hurts like hell. If a way exists to utilize another 'sense' it should be discovered. Otherwise, we'll look like dummies to those 'in-the-know'.

34 posted on 05/23/2009 11:05:40 PM PDT by budwiesest (Momma, let your babies grow up to be cowgirls.)
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To: betty boop
What do you think?

I liked it. But I'm not sure I would call the Earth an organism. Anyway, the argument is pretty good and it led me to these ....

THE PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS OF THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS

Caratheodory's Principle and the Existence of Global Integrating Factors Abstract. A proof is given of a theorem on the integrability of Pfaffian forms which is used in Caratheodory's approach to thermodynamics. It is pointed out that Caratheodory's original proof of the existence of entropy and of absolute temperature is incomplete, since it fails to take into account the local nature of this theorem. By combining the theorem with the results of BTJCHDAHL and GBEVE on the existence of continuous empirical entropy functions, it is shown that the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics imply the existence of a globally defined differentiable empirical entropy function for every simple thermodynamic system. This result supplies the missing step in Caratheodory's argument and makes a separate proof of the principle of increase of entropy unnecessary.

...

An advantage of this approach is that no separate proof of the principle of increase of entropy is required [3], since the true entropy is a strictly increasing function of the empirical entropy obtained here.

In section 2 we demonstrate the existence of a continuous (global) empirical entropy σ by methods similar to those of BUCHDAHL and GKEVE [6], but without assuming the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The First and Second Laws are introduced in section 3 together with certain supplementary smoothness assumptions, and it is shown that a differentiable local empirical entropy can be defined in the neighbourhood of each point of M. The construction of a differentiable global empirical entropy s is finally accomplished in section 4.

...

Since g is a strictly increasing function it follows that the C°° map s = go a of M onto {(0, oo), <$} is a C°° global empirical entropy on M. Moreover s has no critical points, i. e. ds never vanishes. For s may be expressed on each set V of the open covering i^ of M as a strictly increasing C°° function of the corresponding C°° local empirical entropy sv, and dsyis everywhere non-zero on V. It follows from (E) that ψ = λds, where λ is an everywhere non-vanishing C°° function on M whose reciprocal is thus a global integrating factor for ψ.

Some of the characters in the paper are not rendered correctly above so you must read the paper to see what they are, and I hope I did't screw up anybody's arrow 3 because of the bad rendering.

As an "aside", Rosen hits a few "sore" points, namely, "meaning" and "information" which involve arrows 3, 2, and 4.

35 posted on 05/24/2009 12:47:38 AM PDT by AndrewC (Metanoia)
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To: AndrewC; betty boop

Instead of “Rosen”, I should have written “Mikulecky”.


36 posted on 05/24/2009 12:59:47 AM PDT by AndrewC (Metanoia)
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To: budwiesest
I have a problem believing in things I can't see. But I'm not alone. When something hits me in the head- and I didn't see it?- I respect it. ... If a way exists to utilize another 'sense' it should be discovered. Otherwise, we'll look like dummies to those 'in-the-know'.

Different believers have different spiritual gifts, but to believers who have been exposed to spiritual warfare and directly exposed to demons, that is an undisciplined worldly reaction to unbelievers.

What most unbelievers fail to understand, is that the love and patience believers exhibit when communicating the issue to an unbeliever, is frequently misunderstood and associated with naivete and foolishness.

37 posted on 05/24/2009 3:57:53 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: betty boop; hosepipe; MHGinTN
Thank you oh so very much for this outstanding essay, dearest sister in Christ!

Truly organisms are not the sum their parts.

And therefore mathematical models (reductionism) cannot be built to simulate what is observed.

What is a complex system and why is a complex system different from a machine?

A complex system falls outside the formalism called the Newtonian Paradigm. That is not to say that complex systems cannot be seen as machines for limited kinds of analysis. This is, in fact, what traditional science does. Using Rosen’s general characteristics to separate the two kinds of objects, we see that complex systems contain semantic aspects which cannot be reduced to syntax. Therefore they are not simulatable even though, when viewed as machines, the machine model is simulatable. They have no largest model from which all other models can be derived. This is simply because complex systems, by their very nature, require multiple distinct ways of interacting with them to capture their qualities. Their models are now distinct. Analytic models, which are expressed mathematically as direct products of quotient spaces are no longer equivalent to synthetic models which are built up from disjoint pieces as direct sums. Using this formulation, every synthetic model is an analytic model, but there are analytic models which are not synthetic models. In other words, these analytic models are not reducible to disjoint sets of parts. This is a most profound distinction and requires some elaboration, for in it lies the essence of the failure of reductionism. In the machine, each model analytic or synthetic, is formulated in terms of the material parts of the system. Thus any model will be reducible and can be reconstructed from its parts.

This is not the case in a complex system. There are certain key models which are formulated in an entirely different way. These models are made up of functional components which do not map to the material parts in any one-to-one manner. The functional component itself is totally dependent on the context of the whole system and has no meaning outside that context. This is why reducing the system to its material parts loses information irreversibly. This is a cornerstone to the overall discovery Rosen made. It captures a real difference between complexity and reductionism which no other approach seems to have been able to formulate. This distinction makes it impossible to confuse computer models with complex systems. It also explains how there can be real “objective” aspects of a complex system that are to be considered along with the material parts, but which have a totally different character....

As you say, this points to the idea that meaning (formal cause) and purpose (final cause) really do operate in Nature.

A previous article raised a similar point in retrospect, that the biological cell developed maintenance and repair functions before it could have been aware of - or anticipated - the need for them.

As MHGinTN mentioned earlier, the phenomenon points to a non-linear temporal element. Or as hosepipe mentioned earlier, the existence of spirit independent of flesh.

Bottom line, even at the lowest levels, life itself cannot be reduced to parts which can be mathematically summed and modeled to simulate actual life. The whole is not equal to the sum of the parts.


38 posted on 05/24/2009 6:57:13 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: F15Eagle; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; ...
The machine got too much power and had the ability of creative thought, supposedly, based on its vast knowledge base.

One can have a vast knowledge base, but this of itself does not lead to creative thinking. Or even to any kind of thinking strictly speaking.

Presumably we can understand "knowledge base" as the contents of memory, or some kind of storage device. In order for thinking to occur, the thinker must select from memory, i.e., "remember" items from past perception and experience that are relevant to what he wants to think about, and must organize these components into concepts. These operations are self-initiated, autonomous, independent of the knowledge base, and inherently goal-directed, or purposeful. The formulated concepts are then capable of further analysis, with further calls on memory to provide additional data as needed. The contents of memory do not organize themselves into concepts or judge or analyze them. Only a thinker can do that.

The problem seems to be that we can build machines, but we can't build thinkers.

It seems to me robots are amazingly sophisticated tools that man can deploy to serve his own goals and purposes. But it also seems that these sophisticated machines have no principle whereby they can originate goals and purposes of their own. Maybe we could say what they lack is free will? (Machines, after all, are determined systems.)

Strange stuff to be thinking about, F15Eagle! Thank you so much for writing!

39 posted on 05/24/2009 10:22:04 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: hosepipe
Actually the human body is quite machine like..
No....., exactly machine like..

LOLOL dear brother in Christ! We see what we see! :^)

To some it may appear that "machine" is itself composed of a myriad of living entities....

But certainly I'm in agreement that "The human body can and does cease to operate often. The spirit does not." As Plato might say, the spirit is the eternal "form" of the body. The body depends on it for its own material expression as an existent object. When the spirit "departs," the body is abandoned to the tender mercies of the second law of thermodynamics....

In short, the body perishes; but the soul or spirit does not. And thus Plato said, "Death, if I am right, is in the first place the separation from one another of two things, soul and body; nothing else." [Gorgias 524]

40 posted on 05/24/2009 10:57:20 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: Alamo-Girl; MHGinTN; hosepipe
The functional component itself is totally dependent on the context of the whole system and has no meaning outside that context. This is why reducing the system to its material parts loses information irreversibly.

Isn't that a simply amazing insight, dearest sister in Christ?

A previous article raised a similar point in retrospect, that the biological cell developed maintenance and repair functions before it could have been aware of — or anticipated — the need for them.

Yes, I recall that thread too. The lead article there maintained that the biologically requisite functional information that cannot be anticipated in advance of need is provided via a universal source of "inversely-causal metainformation" which would be equivalent to a universal formal cause operating in biological nature. One wonders how such an intangible thing can have arised from purely natural or material source, and concludes that it cannot have done so. How such a formal cause may operate, or may be "located," the Kinemans (in one of the papers I sent you) have an interesting suggestion. They hypothesize a fifth, "time-like" scalar dimension as the context in which the "abstract" universe (formal cause, semiotics) and the "real" universe (final cause, syntax) co-exist and mutually interrelate. It's a very interesting suggestion IMHO.

So I think MHGinTN may very well be right, that the phenomenon of a formal cause points to a non-linear temporal element.

Thank you so much, dearest sister in Christ, for your very kind words, and for your excellent essay/post!

41 posted on 05/24/2009 11:20:47 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: AndrewC; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; ...
I'm not sure I would call the Earth an organism.

Yeah. Shades of "Gaia theory" there. And yet some scientists not committed to this theory are finding that the biosphere as a total system does seem to possess "lifelike" features or qualities....

You wrote: "Rosen hits a few 'sore' points, namely, 'meaning' and 'information' which involve arrows 3, 2, and 4." I can see that such things may be "sore points" for people whose thinking is structured by the Newtonian Paradigm. :^)

There's another article that deals with these matters, but evidently it doesn't exist anywhere on the Web these days. That is John J. Kineman & Jesse R. Kineman's "Life and Space-Time Cosmology." It is very much a development of Rosen's core ideas.

I found it fascinating. Its geometric foundation in the formalism of a "Euclideanized" complex Minkowsky space and imaginary numbers (where the imaginary parts refer to time as mapped on the imaginary axis) seems a very secure and solid basis for the model, and thus for inferences amd demonstrations that can be drawn from it. I particularly liked the idea that there is an observable "real" universe and an abstract "real" universe, from the latter of which formal causes arise in the natural world. I'm delighted that people are beginning to speak of formal causes again — and also final causes, though the Kinemans do not seem to make the latter explicit in this work. In my humble opinion, for too long has science restricted itself to material and efficient causes only! Plus I really liked the idea of a fifth "time-like" scalar dimension as the context in which the observable and abstract worlds subsist and "resonate" with one another. It was also very interesting to see the way the Kinemans seem to extend the Bohr complementary principle to incorporate the idea of a mutually causal entailment.

If you'd like to see it, just FReepmail me.

Thank you ever so much for writing, AndrewC! And thanks for the link to "The Physics and Mathematics of the Second Law...." I'll go study up!

42 posted on 05/24/2009 11:54:02 AM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Whosoever
[ The body depends on it for its own material expression as an existent object. ]

On the otherhand.. the human form could be a test of (some-a few)evil spirits(our spirits) getting a second chance as "a prodigal son" after reconsidering their choice of following Satan..

After all where does/do spirits "come from".. to inhabit a human body after that body is generated by human bodies?.. Surely our human fathers are fathers of our bodies.. God is father of the "spirit(s)"..

If our "spirit(s)" are really evil spirits(angelic) "getting a second chance" then that could answer WHY? Satan was allowed to get a second chance (Garden of Eden) to corrupt them.. I often wondered why Satan was allowed to be there..

Interesting topic here.. makes you think.. The drama of the human experience could be wholly about the prodigal experience.. With all operators in the prodigal metaphor present.. with Universal scope.. (Angels).. And that "We" are not human at all but Angels.. in our spirits twice tested.. with the "good" brother (good Angels) present too..

Therefore "going to hell" would because you were twice tested by God and FAILED both times.. proving that your "spirit" was defective in qualia..

Would make a good Sci-fi novel.. WAIT!.. that novel was already written.. its called the BIBLE.. if read with the right "observation"..

43 posted on 05/24/2009 11:56:10 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; Whosoever

You know dreams may be to give the “spirit” something to do while the body sleeps.. After all why would your spirit need to sleep?..


44 posted on 05/24/2009 12:02:16 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: valkyry1; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; ...
...men make machines while life is unfathomable.

I second your insight here, valkyry1!

At bottom, Life is an unfathomable mystery. For the "why?" of it rests in God and God alone, in His will and desire expressing Logos, as Alpha (Formal Cause) and Omega (Final Cause).

No man can answer that question, it seems to me — the "why?" of Life. But we can certainly be curious about Life's "how" as it manifests living, observable creatures. And maybe gain some insights from a systematic study, which is what science purports to do.

Thank you ever so much for writing, valkyry1!

45 posted on 05/24/2009 12:07:36 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: hosepipe; Alamo-Girl
Surely our human fathers are fathers of our bodies.. God is father of the "spirit(s)"..

What a strikingly beautiful essay/post, dear brother in Christ! Thank you ever so much!

46 posted on 05/24/2009 12:10:00 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: budwiesest; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; ...
What's strange is, we may not possess all of the 'sensory' apprati necessary to completely understand 'reality'.

Indeed budwiesest. We do not sense or perceive quantum phenomena at all, for example. And yet we know that the quantum realm is the general foundation of all aspects of physical reality, of which the "Newtonian Paradigm" is but a special case.

We can extend our natural sensory apparatus (five senses) by instrumental means which allow us to "see" things invisible to the human eye. So we are able by their means to detect such elusive things as x-rays, etc. But it seems to me that certain aspects of Nature are invisible in principle because they are inherently non-physical, immaterial. And as such are completely undetectable by sensory means no matter how extended. The law of causation itself would fall into this category. As would mathematics and the very notion of "information."

But if this is so, then is it even possible to build a machine capable of detecting such phenomena? If they truly were "forces," then one would think they could be detectable.

I believe the bearing of the Mikulecky article is that such phenomena are not "forces." But they are nonetheless "real."

You wrote:

Have you ever wondered why you picked up something to read and found it addressed something you've been acutely interested in? Or changed a channel to something that again, hit the mark? Or maybe you've been in a life threatening situation and came out unscathed and wondered, "How did I survive this?"

Wow budwiesest. I have experienced all those things myself. Most vividly the very last. The only explanation I could give for such experiences is: the Holy Spirit was with me. Try building a machine that can "detect" that!

But my soul can do it....

Thank you ever so much for your insightful essay/post!

47 posted on 05/24/2009 12:57:14 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: tentmaker; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; ...
It may become one of the most important and hotly contested issues of this century.

Oh, I certainly agree with you about that, tentmaker! A great many thinkers nowadays have huge psychic investments in the "machine model" of living systems, and particularly man. There's been a significant "bleed-though" of these ideas into society at large, which have had a largely de-humanizing effect in the social and political spheres. (As we see with such mechanistic/materialist systems as Marxism.)

So stay tuned. The resistance to Rosen's developments will very likely be intense.

Thank you so much for writing, tentmaker!

48 posted on 05/24/2009 1:14:11 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: freedumb2003; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; ...
Perhaps you can distill the point of the article?

I'll try freedumb2003. It seems to me the basic points that Mikulecky (after Rosen) raises in this excerpt come down to:

(1) A complex system falls outside the formalism called the Newtonian Paradigm. Yet increasingly we are aware that biological organisms are preeminently complex systems.

(2) "...complex systems contain semantic aspects which cannot be reduced to syntax." By semantic or semiotic aspects, he means meaningful (for the order of the organism) information presumably of an "inversely-causal metainformation" type as detailed Here. By syntax, generally he means the capability of a living system to "speak the language" of the ordering principle — the "language" of the semiotic meaning, which is the formal cause of the living system's own order (final cause). In other words, the whole (i.e., the living system) can never be merely the sum of its "material" parts.

(3) For any biologically functional component is itself "totally dependent on the context of the whole system and has no meaning outside that context (thus has no efficacy outside of that context). This is why reducing the system to its material parts loses information irreversibly." I.e., why the Newtonian Paradigm (the materialist, mechanistic conception) cannot comprehensively describe Nature. Its very choice of method eliminates the very possibility of comprehensive description because it effaces vital information on which the comprehensive description depends for its truth.

Another way to put this into perspective is to recognize that Rosen requires that formal and final causes be restored to modern science. It seems to me that Sir Francis Bacon became the father, if not of modern science, then of the modern scientific method, by abolishing formal and final causes from the purview of science, retaining only the other two Aristotelian causes, the material and efficient, as the proper business of the natural sciences exclusively. Evidently he did so because of what we might call the "anthropometric" bias implicit in formal and final causes. This can be illustrated in the case of final causes by Aristotle's remark, that "...no one would try to do anything if he were not likely to reach some limit (peras) [i.e., purpose or goal]; nor would there be reason in the world (nous), for the reasonable man always acts for the sake of an end — which is a limit." In short, just because a reasonable man acts for a purpose, this doesn't necessarily mean that Nature does.

Indeed, the neo-Darwinists love to tell us that Nature is "'blind"; i.e., has no purpose at all. Everything just works out by happenstance, by a "random" (i.e., unguided, uninformed) process.

And yet it seems to me that the very idea of a natural biological function logically involves the idea of the purpose or goal for which the function exists. However, it seems Bacon felt that, since such causes seem to pertain "only" to human action, he took it for granted that it could not be supposed that they had any extension in the "objective" universe. And in any case would not be "direct observables" or amenable to direct experimental tests, from whence all our "certainty" about natural facts can arise.

And here we are today, on the threshold of a potential paradigm shift in the sciences in which formal and final causes are considered "legitimate" again.

Well, that would be my "take," FWIW.

Thank you so much for writing, freedumb2003!

p.s.: Anyone needing a refresher on Aristotle's four causes, I hope this will help:

The formal cause (eidos) is the pattern or design according to which materials are selected and assembled for the execution of a particular goal or purpose. For example, in the case of a Boeing 747, the blueprint (or schematic) would be its formal cause. This is the key “explanation” for the jet; for its construction materials and subcomponents would be only a pile of rubble (or a different jet) if they were not put together in the particular way its blueprint specified.

The material cause is the basic stuff out of which something is made. The material cause of a Boeing 747, for example, would include the metals, plastics, glass, and other component materials used in its construction. All of these things belong in an explanation of the 747 because it could not exist unless they were present in its composition.

The efficient cause is the agent or force immediately responsible for bringing that material and that form together in the production of the Boeing 747. Thus, the efficient cause of the jet would include the efforts of engineers, materials fabricators, hydraulics specialists, and other workers who use the designated materials and components to build the jet in accordance with its specifying blueprint. Clearly the Boeing 747 could not be what it is without their contribution: It would remain unbuilt.

Lastly, the final cause (telos) is the end or purpose for which the Boeing 747 exists. The final cause of the jet would be to provide safe, reliable, comfortable air transportation for human beings. This is part of the explanation of the 747’s existence, because it never would have been built in the first place unless people needed a means of air transportation.


49 posted on 05/24/2009 2:21:14 PM PDT by betty boop (Tyranny is always whimsical. — Mark Steyn)
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; GodGunsGuts; MHGinTN; hosepipe; metmom; TXnMA; xzins; logos; YHAOS; ...

Stanley Jaki noted that although Newton was a Christian, he wasn’t Christian enough to not ‘worship’ the laws he had discovered, thereby unwittingly paving the way for philosophical monism to eventually drape itself in the banner of ‘science.’

Monism being like a coin, one side is materialism, the other pantheism. The Pharoahs, Epicurus, Weishaupt, Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, & Stalin were materialists. The Roisicrucians, Fabianists, Nietzsche, and Hitler were pantheists.

Materialism denies the spiritual and says everything is the product of nature or matter, which is why materialists find they must deny not only man’s soul, but mind, ideas, memory, reason, conscience, etc., for all are of the immaterial (metaphysical) realm. But then, so are theories, numbers, and much else of primary importance to the doing of science. Deny the reality of mind, and you’ve denied the reality of science. The author of the posted article is cautiously pointing to this truth.

Pantheism of the Idealist type denies matter and says everything is but a manifestation of spirit.

For a long time now, many materialists have been quietly moving laterally from materialism to pantheism (Cosmic Humanism, Postmodernism, New Age). Why? Because they are spiritually starved and seek a source for mind.

Betty asked: Do we have a potential “paradigm shift” on our hands here?

Yes, we do. It’s the flip-side of materialism coming at us full speed. And the Cosmic Humanists are ‘channeling’ the spirit realm. Even Gorbachev has succumbed to the dark Lord Maitreya. Barbara Marx Hubbard, powerful UN insider, has a spirit-guide who tells her we must ‘forgive Lucifer...our brother.”

If we thought materialism was bizarre, we’ve seen nothing yet.


50 posted on 05/24/2009 3:38:07 PM PDT by spirited irish
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