• Wayfarer
    6k
    My feeing about Peirce is that he was, firstly, multi-faceted - certainly neither simple, nor simplistic. So I imagine that he would say something like: in respect of those many issues which are amenable to scientific analysis, then be scientific about them; but that there are also facts that are out of scope for science. I think, as he situated himself in the idealist tradition of philosophy, broadly speaking, he was not atheist - which may not make a lot of difference in respect of his scientific work, but which might be significant in respect of first principles, ethics, and the like. The quote above certainly seems to reflect that.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    He was not an atheist. But he also said his theism was unlike that of others.

    So you are still trying to play the game of theism wins - or rather, the theism that maximises transcendental causality, the intelligence that stands outside the world it creates.

    Peirce was explicit enough that his theism sought to maximise immanent explanation. His God would be the least kind of transcendental being. The "divine" becomes another word for pure creative potential.

    And my point is that the same goes for the atheistic materialist - once they are thinking in systems fashion. Material being is inherently spontaneous or indeterministic - as quantum theory avows.
  • javra
    525


    Our two worldviews often converge in multiple ways when it comes to explanations of the physical world. I’m in truth uplifted by this. Yet our differences lie in the metaphysical basic underpinnings. You for instance focus on vagueness as an ultimate beginning; I instead will affirm that the ultimate beginning is unknowable by us *. You view the ultimate end as a materialist form of nothingness (to not confuse it with Eastern notions of emptiness, for example); I instead will affirm that the ultimate end—though its occurrence is contingent on the choices of all co-existing agents—is one of awareness unshackled from the limitations/constraints of space and time (even that which pertain to mind and its thoughts), and, hence, from the boundaries of selfhood (and otherness) … a juncture wherein subjectivity at last becomes, or transcends into, awareness-endowed metaphysical objectivity; else stated, where no difference remains between subject and object (not to be confused with the identity/otherness notion of objects) [* with what the ultimate beginning of space and time was maybe becoming at last apprehended by awareness at this transformative juncture of spatiotemporal finality]. Yet otherwise expressed, the contingently awaiting ultimate end is a juncture where the fist-person point of view at last apprehends—experientially and via logos/ratio-devoid understanding—what it in truth objectively is … it, in my outlook, is the only possible instance of absolute knowledge.

    I’ve little doubt of others’ mistrust and distaste for this perspective I’ve been developing. Still, let it be noted that this final end—otherwise conceivable as the totality of unbounded awareness—is not itself a deity; deities are selves separated from otherness. Nevertheless, from within the framework of my metaphysics, this “omega” can only be stated to exist, if nothing else then as an existent potential with teleological impact upon all sentience (be it via freewill-resultant aversion to it or the converse). Whether this “omega” can then be termed a theistic notion of God/G-d/Divinity or, else, an atheistic construct (due to its lacking of a deity that, as a self separated from non-self, interacts with us), I wholeheartedly presume will be in the eyes of the beholder and his/her perspectives of reality.

    Where all that matters is parsimony in coherently explaining the physical world, we often can cordially debate—and, again, often enough find agreement. But our metaphysical systems are built up differently.

    For now I’d like to address aspects of this difference. By saying “yup” in you previous post to me, I take it you agree that evolution can be partially simplified into a universal common denominator of “preservation of identity”. How do you propose that identity is established if not via awareness which, as awareness, identifies itself as same/identical to itself and different/non-identical to other? Now, if there’s agreement that this identity is established via awareness, then how is the primacy of awareness (an identity known experientially) abandoned for the sake of primacy of matter (an identity known theoretically)? I anticipate that this will reduce to what is the true metaphysical nature of identity.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    3.9k

    That's quite the post. Let me see if I can, in some way, understand what you are trying to say.

    Because this singularity is devoid of otherness, it is also devoid of boundaries via which it can gain a quantifiable identity and, therefore, can well be demarcated as a non-quantity whole.javra

    The space-less point would not have a boundary itself, but as soon as you assume a multitude of such points, there must be something, reified space or some such thing, which separates one point from another. The singular point, therefore, as a whole, must be the whole of everything, the entire universe, and all of existence, because there is no principle of separation. As soon as we assume something other than the point, space surrounding the point for example, we then allow for the possibility of more points, so if the point is singular, it would be all that there is.

    As I remember it, as was addressed in a by now ancient discussion on the old forum, we already agree that it is only once two or more geometric points hold presence that space itself holds presence. What I’m reaching at is that while a singular geometric point can be conceived to hold space-less presence, the presence of two or more points entails the co-dependent origination of space.javra

    I don't think you should be so quick to assume a spatial separation between points, because there is another way we can go, and that is a temporal separation. Imagine counting, two comes after one, and three comes after two. If the space-less point is separated from itself by a period of time, then we get such a count, one, two, three, four, five, etc.. Each number represents an appearance in time of the point, and without a premise of continuous existence of the point, through time, we have no means for concluding that the appearance of the point, at each following moment, is an appearance of the same point. Now we have a multitude of countable points which are not separated by space. They have order, identity and distinction according to the passage of time, such that one was prior to two, which is prior to three, etc.. We have a fundamental separation between entities (points), with order and positioning of these entities without even assuming the existence of space.

    So we actually can have numerous points without space, and this is a fundamental temporal order, but as soon as we assume numerous points at the same time, then we need spatial separation. The points with temporal separation are identified by temporal order, but how would we identify, and distinguish between the numerous points existing at the same time? We would have to produce a geometry of co-ordinates.

    Were we to grant both awareness and creative agency to these geometric points, not only would the presence of two or more points necessitate to co-existence of space but also of time: the creations of one point will occur either before, after, or simultaneous to the awareness/apprehension and/or creation of any other geometric point.javra

    Suppose there is a multitude of creative points with a temporal order. There is no spatial separation between these points, so if taken together in order, they constitute a continuous self. Assumption of a self establishes that the procession of points is of the same point, at a different time, and therefore continuity of existence . Could the points create a spatial separation through the use of geometry? Can a temporal separation be inverted such that it becomes a spatial separation? By creating this spatial separation, the creative agent would create space.

    Though mumbo jumbo to some, it can further be noted that base natures of people are (overly) selfish and elevated natures of people are (relatively speaking) selfless. This singular geometric point example is, in so many other words, a perfectly selfless being: the pinnacle of elevated nature as viewed from within space and time.javra

    The repetition of the same point in time, over and over again, as temporal order, is the existence of the self. This is the temporal continuity of existence. The selfless act I believe, is to give of one's temporal continuity, in order to create a spatial unity with other points existing at the same time. The question at hand is how it comes to be that there are multiple points existing at the same time. The different points cannot be of a different universe because they exist at the same time. How does it come to be that the points may have spatial separation in the first place, that there may be numerous selves?
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    You for instance focus on vagueness as an ultimate beginning; I instead will affirm that the ultimate beginning is unknowable by us *.javra

    Again, if one seeks division, one can always find it. But I'm seeking the third path that lies between the very familiar cultural positions of materialism and theism.

    So vagueness is just a word to talk about unknowable beginnings in a rational - that is, retroductive - fashion. If two complementary things came out of creation - like mind and matter, or information and dynamics, or constraints and degrees of freedom - then logically the ultimate beginning is where these two things fold back into each other as a naked unformed potential.

    I like "vagueness" as that comes from Peirce's attempts to get to the root of logic, or reasoning, itself. If you want to come at metaphysics from a psychological or idealistic direction, then vagueness seems a very natural category as it speaks to states of experience before it speaks to states of being.

    And vagueness is about information and uncertainty. Your point is that the beginning is unknowable. Calling it a vagueness is agreeing that it is a state of maximal uncertainty. Then putting on a physics hat, we can understand that in materialistic terms as a state of maximum quantum indeterminism. And when that in turn is understood in terms of the spatiotemporal general relativity, we can cash out a description of a vague beginning as a maximally fluctuating geometry - a "realm" with the most extreme imaginable curvature.

    So that is what I am seeking. A jargon that actually does translate smoothly from one metaphysical point of view to its "other". Whether we describe creation psychologically or physically, it really means the same thing.

    You view the ultimate end as a materialist form of nothingness (to not confuse it with Eastern notions of emptiness, for example);javra

    Well, sort of. The Heat Death is the finality of natural habit becoming eternally fixed. The laws of nature are finally fully expressed.

    So not exactly a case of nothingness. A state of regulated lawfulness has become definite and classical, having started out vague and quantum.

    I instead will affirm that the ultimate end—though its occurrence is contingent on the choices of all co-existing agents—is one of awareness unshackled from the limitations/constraints of space and time (even that which pertain to mind and its thoughts), and, hence, from the boundaries of selfhood (and otherness) …javra

    Pansemiosis would be saying a similar thing, but in terms of infodynamics - consciousness not being accepted as "a thing".

    So yes, in the current era, there is complex semiosis. You have life and mind on Earth doing its best to break down accidental blockages in the greater entropy flow. But in the end, dissipation will become as simple and universal as possible. All particular points of view will disappear. As cosmology describes it, there will be nothing but the cosmic event horizons and the quantum sizzle of black-body photons they radiate.

    So in a sense, "consciousness" - as another word for the process of semiosis - developed and grew complex in the current era. It was located at least on one planet as a human mindfulness. And this is truly exceptional as an event. These human creatures could have the self-reflective capacity to develop a form of semiosis - abstract scientific modelling using mathematical language - that looked to speak to the existence of the Universe itself. That's stunning, no doubt.

    But in the long-run, the Universe will head for ultimate semiotic simplicity again. The work will be done. It can rest, forever coasting into the future as the ultimate peacefulness of a Heat Death.

    (Yep, some rhetorical flourishes of my own here. :) )

    By saying “yup” in you previous post to me, I take it you agree that evolution can be partially simplified into a universal common denominator of “preservation of identity”. How do you propose that identity is established if not via awareness which, as awareness, identifies itself as same/identical to itself and different/non-identical to other?javra

    Well the difference here is now that you are arguing for the bounding constraints to be caused transcendentally from without, whereas I say they arise emergently and immanently from within.

    So it is in fact an evolutionary position. What works is what survives. There might have been an infinite variety of possible states of constraint. But one of them would have been the best - the best at doing the job of constraining the identity of the world in a way that caused the world to keep reconstituting itself. And so that particular way of organising things would have won through by definition. History is the story told by the winning side.

    Again this is a fundamental physicalist concept. Quantum theory understands collapse as the sum over all quantum histories. And as a theory, this path integral approach has been demonstrated to more decimal places than any other physical theory - as with the calculation of the magnetic moment of an electron.

    https://phys.org/news/2012-09-electron-magnetic-moment-precisely.html

    So quantum theory is far weirder than any theistic metaphysics in most people's eyes. Yet there is nothing hand-waving about it. It produces the most precise predictions humans can manage. And the metaphysics it employs is about how things begin in a state of vague everythingness (or anythingness) and then that is collapsed by a principle of selection to find a stable identity. Every electron has a little more magnetic pull than it should, according to classical conception, because every electron feels the same "ghostly" contribution of all the other "kinds of interaction" it could have been.

    When transcendental theism comes up with facts about the detailed state of the Universe that are as remarkable, profound and challenging, then maybe metaphysics would take more notice of its attempted ontic contributions.

    Of course quantum theory is said to struggle to account for the observer half of its formal equations. So that seems to give wiggle room for "consciousness as a transcendental thing". But in fact "observation" is being reduced to thermal decoherence. The informational structure of the Universe in general is doing the (pansemiotic) observing. The path integral or sum over histories story is being generalised so that it applies to the persisting Universe as a whole, not just to the persistent identity of its fundamental particles.

    So the theist wants to make the ultimate observer the mind of God. But that is just so clearly anthropomorphic as to be a non-starter.

    Some theists then try to create a story of immanent divinity. The purpose which drives the development of being is a different kind of "stuff" woven into the fabric of the Universe rather than the big daddy in the sky.

    But talking about a spiritual substance as the source of agency is just good old fashioned dualism still. It perpetuates a mystery.

    And as I say, the cultural war is between a scientific view which in the end has dematerialised its own materialism, and a theistic view which has produced nothing of note in a metaphysical sense these past 500 years.

    Where are any new ideas, let alone the evidence that stands tested to the precision of one part in 1.5 billion?
  • javra
    525
    I don't think you should be so quick to assume a spatial separation between points, because there is another way we can go, and that is a temporal separation.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, but here I’d also be presuming block time rather than some variant of presentism (to generalize: wherein past is collective memory of what was and future is anticipatory forethought of what will most likely be given the logically non-contradictory facts/info of the present … which themselves include the information regarding the past).

    Given the premise that only conscious agents are metaphysically real—or, rather, that the whole of the phenomenal universe is derived in one way or another from conscious agents—I don’t find a means to substantiate block time. Again, I do find a requirement that before and after occur within the first-person point of view regarding apprehensions and creations relative to other and—in a more complex fashion—relative to any cohort of individual agents that can causally affect each other. But this would lead to a variant of presentism.

    Let me know is this does not directly address you’re offered alternatives regarding temporal separations of identity.
  • javra
    525
    The Heat Death is the finality of natural habit becoming eternally fixed.apokrisis

    I can paraphrase this from a different point of view: the ultimate end is the actualization of absolute order wherein a) all conflict vanishes and b) all imperfectly integral identities become an objectively perfect identity/unity.

    Physical entropy--to distinguish it from IT notions--is merely the process of taking paths of least resistance toward the grand finale of this absolute order--thereby being determinstically driven teleologically toward the final end of absolute order. Negentropy, were it to approach this grand final (which is itself metaphysically determinate as end) via its top-down causal abilities, would via its own freewill become more determined/determinate in its actions toward the requirements of actualizing this ultimate end - thereby itself becoming ever-more entropic (following paths of least resistance toward absolute coherence/unity/accord/etc. given contextual constraints).

    Yet there is still the same difference in the basic metaphysical underpinnings of what this final end ontically is.


    Well the difference here is now that you are arguing for the bounding constraints to be caused transcendentally from without, whereas I say they arise emergently and immanently from within.apokrisis

    I don't get what makes you presume this of me. To me, purpose/telos is intrinsic/immanent to awareness. That the ultimate end is determinate has arguably nothing to do with the objectively real telos (sentience will sometimes pursue other teloi) occurring transcendentally from without as something separate from self. Think of universals ... are they in any way transcendentally from without (such that they at the very least are not also simultaneously immanent to psyches)?

    But you still haven't addressed my previous questions regarding the metaphysical nature of identity.
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    So you are still trying to play the game of theism winsapokrisis

    It's not a game, and it also may not even be 'theism'. What has happened is that a great deal of traditional philosophy was swept up under the umbrella of 'theism', including a lot that originally didn't conceive of itself as 'theistic' at all, but became incorporated into theology by the Church. (The Platonists were never given a vote.) The discarding of that, or the reaction against it, has many consequences, not all of them conscious or deliberate. It influences the kind of ideas you're willing to consider, often in a subtle way.

    When transcendental theism comes up with facts about the detailed state of the Universe that are as remarkable, profound and challenging, then maybe metaphysics would take more notice of its attempted ontic contributions.apokrisis

    The changes that 'transcendental theism' are concerned with, are first-person. But then, I have already tried, and failed, to explain that. (That's one of those no-go ideas, I think.) Anyway, here you're criticizing metaphysics for being bad science, which is like criticizing a boat for being a bad car.

    Now, on the other hand, I can also agree that most or all of what passes for metaphysics is (to use a technical term) otiose. But it can only be done away with from a point beyond it (as the Buddha does) - not before it has even been understood; and generally speaking, it's the latter which has happened. As a consequence, the culture is falling back to a kind of pre-human condition, even despite its technological achievements ( think that's the basic idea behind Planet of the Apes.)

    So quantum theory is far weirder than any theistic metaphysics in most people's eyes. Yet there is nothing hand-waving about it.apokrisis

    You reckon? You know that a sizeable minority of physicists and popular philosophers hold to there being an infinity of parallel universes, as we have discussed many times. And then there's the most embarrasing graph in modern physics.

    a theistic view which has produced nothing of note in a metaphysical sense these past 500 years.apokrisis

    Other than Western civilization, now showing signs of imminent collapse.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    The changes that 'transcendental theism' are concerned with, are first-person.Wayfarer

    The question of how to be a better self is an important one. But my argument - as you know - is that the self is a bio- and socio-semiotic construction. So the answers would have to be naturalistic ones, not transcendental.

    Of course, that evolutionary view of religion means that one would understand in an anthropological fashion why a good religion would capture a lot of social commonsense. So one would endorse religious moral wisdom without then having to believe in the ontic claims that are meant to give transcendental authority to that wisdom.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    I can paraphrase this from a different point of view: the ultimate end is the actualization of absolute order wherein a) all conflict vanishes and b) all imperfectly integral identities become an objectively perfect identity/unity.javra

    That's a good translation.

    Physical entropy--to distinguish it from IT notions--is merely the process of taking paths of least resistance toward the grand finale of this absolute order--thereby being determinstically driven teleologically toward the final end of absolute order. Negentropy, were it to approach this grand final (which is itself metaphysically determinate as end) via its top-down causal abilities, would via its own freewill become more determined/determinate in its actions toward the requirements of actualizing this ultimate end - thereby itself becoming ever-more entropic (following paths of least resistance toward absolute coherence/unity/accord/etc. given contextual constraints).javra

    You are now talking about entropification at a more subtle level. But my view then is the dissipative structure one where entropy and negentropy go hand in hand. So rather than the usual simple-minded story - "thermodynamics = disordering" - I am talking about the self-organisation of the structure which creates those paths of least resistance.

    So yes, there is an entropy gradient everything slithers down. But only because of the negentropic construction of that gradient.

    The Big Bang couldn't have gone anywhere unless it had crystallised a three dimensional spatiality - a directional volume within which to cool/expand. The Universe had to build its own internal heat sink to dump all its hot energy somewhere.

    As far as teleology goes, it is hardly the grand kind of purpose that folk traditionally want to credit existence with. Folk want something ringing and exalted to give meaning to the cosmos.

    But so what? Maybe organising a Heat Death seems merely a "tendency" within the pansemiotic telic hierarchy of {tendency {function {purpose}}}. But it is what it is.

    To me, purpose/telos is intrinsic/immanent to awareness.javra

    But bio-semiosis agrees that purpose is internal and agential and first person when it comes to organisms. They have the right modelling machinery - ways to code and remember.

    And then with physio-semiosis, this is what is missing. There is nothing inside a tornado with which it regulates its being, maintains its identity. All that information is contextual - part of the structure of the world in terms of the weather patterns which swept the tornado into local being.

    So the semiotic approach can track telos or top-down finality across that epistemic cut separating life and mind from brute dynamics. It explains both an underlying continuity and the sharp disconnect.
  • javra
    525


    Though I am by no means as in-depth in knowledge as you are when it comes to physics (QM, thermodynamics, etc. … to be slightly arrogant, I instead view my strongpoints to be biology and behavior, or at least to so once have been), I find our worldviews to in large part agree on the issues you’ve just mentioned.

    Still, whereas you reduce metaphysics to a triadic system of relations, I’ve instead reduced metaphysics to a) a multiplicity of awareness-endowed agents (i.e., first person points of view), b) the entailed requisites of their presence (e.g., space and time as I’ve alluded to in some previous posts here) and c) a set of teloi, all being alternative means of attaining a state of being devoid of obstructions to intent … with only one such alternative being ontically real and all others being, in essence, illusions of will/sentience.

    I don’t see why these two systems couldn’t integrate in principle. In practice, however, within the metaphysics I propose there are logical consequences that so far seem to be viewed in adverse ways by the metaphysics you propose. One such logical consequence is that the body is perishable while awareness is not—stated in terms of more spiritual folk, we are physically mortal but our core remains immortal (again, no homunculi here addressed). Another logical consequence is the metaphysically cogent allowance for the possibility of a multiplicity of incorporeal realms dwelling between our physical world and the pinnacle awareness of the final end. Also stated in terms of more spiritual folk, it is metaphysically possible that different incorporeal worlds exist, possibly worlds of angels, worlds of gods, worlds of chakras, etc. [although the clincher is that, while such worlds cannot be metaphysically disproven, by definition of not being universally applicable to all corporeal beings neither can they be evidenced to be real—else they would be as profane and physically objective as rocks or the laws of gravity … this gets a bit into epistemology, empirical evidence, and the principle of falsification, as well as the metaphysics of the physically real. Still, it is not intended as a joke—though one could well yet maintain atheism (lack of deities) in this metaphysics—and it ties into the logical necessity that the body (and ego) is mortal while awareness is not … something that is readily evident in the nature of the final end I’ve previously addressed.]

    Do you see any possibility of these givens being incorporated into the model you endorse? These givens are some of the intrinsic aspect of the model I uphold. Again, we tend to agree far more when addressing issues of physicality.

    Now, what about them questions regarding metaphysical identity?
  • MikeL
    644

    I've been turning the theory over all day long, and am quite surprised that I have not been met by a rush of contradictions - not a single one. Not yet anyway. I should feel a little skeptical about it all, but it has slotted straight in as a deeper truth. It has clipped in like a bar magnet to a fridge. It's quite bizarre how it's bypassed so many rows of mental filters that should be able to trip it up. Nothing has ever done that before. My basic stance is to believe nothing and work backwards from there.

    And because I see the creativity in things as I look around, in the twisting of the tree limbs and the arrangement of the items on people's desks, I actually feel quite a strange sense of happiness, that I can't quite account for. That also should not be happening because of a theory. I think you have a convert, not that I was a great lover of survival of the fittest. As I look around I am seeing the creativity and can distinguish the difference between that and base survival.

    I learnt once that a study of drug addicts found that even when hooked to the drug, they didn't take it because of a need to restore their baseline equilibrium (which of course they need to do), but because they were still chasing the high. I don't know how valid that experiment was, I think it was one of the 70's hippy experiments. I think this theory kind of fits in there.

    Survival of the fittest is a baseline, getting dragged across the gravel on your back while gripping with all your might the rope that might allow you to continue to survive so long as you don't let go, kind of theory. Your creative theory, allows for the superfluous, which could very well be the true key in this whole equation. I'm going to run with it for a while and see if it truly fits in with my own ideas.

    Just to change topic a bit: Rich, did you read my post in this thread on seeing sound? How does that fit in with your holographic model of the real world? Is the mind reconstructing the world as it is, or only those aspects it chooses to see? (much like the theme of this OP).

    Also, why reconstruct the world when it's already right in front of you? Plus, what you see is loaded with information from lots of senses, including memory. Does the hologram model allow that?
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    How do you propose that identity is established if not via awareness which, as awareness, identifies itself as same/identical to itself and different/non-identical to other? Now, if there’s agreement that this identity is established via awareness, then how is the primacy of awareness (an identity known experientially) abandoned for the sake of primacy of matter (an identity known theoretically)? I anticipate that this will reduce to what is the true metaphysical nature of identity.javra

    I agreed that in evolutionary theory, the global constraint of natural selection preserves identity. So the environment of a species acts to stabilise its identity. If the environment doesn't change, then neither will the species. The causality is contextual. The environment acts as information that regulates species identity. And it can do so because there is the genetic memory to capture that as actual information. The genes can remember the identity that the environment demands. In effect, the genes can take the environment's point of view of what some individual of the species ought to be.

    Dissipative structure theory is about how identity persists due to environmental negentropy. A tornado is kept alive by the thermal gradient off which it feeds. Then life has the extra trick of being able to form a model of how it ought to look from a natural selection point of view. It has a self-identity now as it can milk dissipative gradients "at will" due to its control over its own negentropic structure.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    I’ve instead reduced metaphysics to a) a multiplicity of awareness-endowed agents (i.e., first person points of view), bjavra

    The infodynamic closest equivalent might be agreeing that every material event or degree of freedom is like an informational point of view.

    If something happens, then that fixes a departure point for what may follow. In that sense, material reality is a pattern woven from the establishment of multiple points of view. If an atom decays, the event creates fresh information, an update on the physical context within which all possible points of view are determined.

    But this is a metaphorical rather than literal description. The having of a point of view is not about awareness as such (awareness not being a substantial thing). It is just speaking to the particularity of being a dissipative event located at instant of spacetime.
  • MikeL
    644
    Hi Apokrisis,
    I quite agree that experiences throughout a lifetime must affect the germ line, although I think we both would be in the minority. For example, we may expect a animal to grow quite a thick coat of fur after living in a cold environment for a long time. It makes sense. That by random chance they start growing thick coats seems a bit far fetched, and we can trace human adaptation as it moved out of Africa and into the colder regions of Europe as case in point.

    I just want you to clarify one thing for me. You say.
    If the environment doesn't change, then neither will the species.apokrisis

    How does this account for divergent evolution? In Australia, for example, a marsupial found itself isolated from many predators and evolved into all sorts of weird creatures such as wombats and kangaroos and koalas. Are you arguing that the global constraint in this instance would be competition between the marsupials rather than the environment itself? How would you define 'environment'?
  • MikeL
    644
    Creative evolution seems a better model.
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    First, I wasn't endorsing Lamarckian evolution.

    Then on marsupials, you would get divergent evolution to fill all niches because of a lack of constraint. And convergent evolution due to constraints emerging. There are wolf-like and flying-squirrel like marsupials as ecosystems would be organised with similar niches to fill.

    By environment, I meant everything that might impinge as information. So that would include competition and predation from other species.

    It's the idea behind punctuated evolution. Whole ecosystems can maintain a collective stable balance for some time. Then there is a collective jump to another balance as the result of some perturbation.
  • Galuchat
    418
    The repetition of the same point in time, over and over again, as temporal order, is the existence of the self. This is the temporal continuity of existence. — Metaphysician Undercover

    ego eimi (Greek present tense): continuous self existence.

    The question at hand is how it comes to be that there are multiple points existing at the same time. The different points cannot be of a different universe because they exist at the same time. How does it come to be that the points may have spatial separation in the first place, that there may be numerous selves? — Metaphysician Undercover

    Conscious agency (i.e., creative power)?
  • apokrisis
    3.8k
    Creative evolution seems a better model.MikeL

    To biologists?
  • MikeL
    644
    I like the idea of germ line transmission of experiences. It sounds so right. It would be the perfect way to adapt your progeny to a new world. If you're not in, then it guess it leaves just me.

    You're right, the global constraint has been significantly loosened in a divergent system. I don't know your position on evolution, but it seems to me that by loosening the constraint there is no driver of change for the animals. The competition for resources in the vast continent was negligible. Adaptation into niches without a primary environmental driver to do so seems like a superfluous action. Do you agree with the idea that a creative evolution model and not survival of the fittest model fits best here?
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