Saturday, February 4, 2017

Philip Ball — How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder

Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.
Hmm. Jason Smith may be onto something with information transfer economics.

Philip Ball
ht Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism

8 comments:

Matthew Franko said...

"Both of these features stem from perhaps biology’s only general guiding principle: evolution. It depends on chance and randomness, but natural selection gives it the appearance of intention and purpose."

I cant even begin to tell you the type of headache I get reading stuff like this...

WHO is doing the 'guiding' ??????? WHO?????

This is not science....

lastgreek said...

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/09/dawkinss_weasel103162.html

John said...

"But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics."

It may not be ALL a consequence of thermodynamics, but is there anything that isn't a consequence of thermodynamics to some degree? Is it not perfectly obvious that energy is key to life? Other than this, which for some peculiar reason is trumpeted as some new insight, there has to be some self-organising procedure and emergence going on, which is what we observe and has been known for quite some now.

Every few years, someone claims to have cracked this problem or had some amazing new insight, but all they're doing is regurgitating what is already known and has been known for quite some time. It's all very tiresome stuff.

Bob said...

Where do all the dead people go? Where do their memories go?

Tom Hickey said...

Where do all the dead people go? Where do their memories go?

According to the sages, there are three bodies, gross, subtle and mental/causal corresponding to the three world, gross, subtle and mental, that the tree bodies experience as other in the polarity of subject-object in dualistic awareness. Only the physical body dies. Space is limited to the gross, so there is nowhere to go wrt to the subtle and causal.

The three bodies/worlds are nested like layers of an onion, not separate bodies/worlds. The three relative worlds appearing in time and subject to change are manifestations of the timeless unchanging absolute in finite minds bound by time, the boundaries of which are memory as latent impressions.

Memories are latent impressions that are retained at the level of the mental/causal body and affect the subtle body and gross body. There is also a semi-subtle aka astral body that is part of the gross that survives death. "Heaven" and "Hell" are not places but rather experiences of impressions processed using the semi-subtle gross body after the death of the physical gross body prior to taking another if one has not yet achieved realization of the absolute, unitary awareness, in which case the process of evolution and involution of forms is compete and duality "dissolves" into the non-dual.

The reason I take this to be naturalistic rather than supernaturalistic is that the same conceptual model is found worldwide from time immemorial in the testimony of those that elaborated the model. In addition, now it is possible to gather biological data on subjects reporting those kinds of experiences. That data needs to be explained or explained away. This study is being undertaken in cognitive studies and transpersonal psychology and there is quite a bit of research that has been done on it over the past several decades, during which time meditation and related practices have become common in the West and are now prescribed medically, with some insurance covering this as evidence-based owing to positive effects observable on the level of the gross.

jrbarch said...

For me: - ‘when you are not here, then you are somewhere else’. And this out of practical experience although I know no one will think it possible. Just adding one voice! I don’t think the time is too far away when death gets pushed back over the physical boundary, and medicine etc. becomes all about energy flows. Be hard to convince the bankers though (pay you back next time around)!

Bob said...

What kinds of experiences?

Bob said...

Some dreams are lucid dreams, where the person is aware they are dreaming. Of the non-lucid dreams, most involve situations from my past. It is rare for me to have a dream where I was experiencing a perspective unrecognizable to my own.

Dreaming is one method to "lose yourself"; reading a good novel is another.