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Are Complexity Sciences "Too Complex"?

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posted on Mar, 12 2017 @ 09:55 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: chr0naut

By complexity I mean systems theory/chaos/non-linearity.

This is a more complex way of seeing things than the simplistic methods of scientific reductionism.

Don't get me wrong - reducing things is interesting and a useful part of our current knowledge base. Atoms are now seen to be made of smaller particles - neutrons/protons/electrons. Protons/Neutrons in turn are regularities of even more energetic quark-gluon reactions.

With Quantum field theory, we now also have a sense of how space emerges (as a gravitational field). All of this is the product of reductionism.

But yes - I'm specifically referring to the NECESSITY of increasing representational awareness - i.e. how you know and understand cause and effect - and not simply trusting, as most religious people do, their initial affectivity.

Mindfulness - a uniquely Buddhist concept - has proven indispensable to western scientific approaches that study the mind i.e. neurosciences, phenomenology and psychodynamics. All of these understandings are buttressed by the Eastern conviction - and belief - that the mind can pay attention to its own functionality without becoming "absorbed".

It's a profound position, which, naturally, assumes a far more skeptical relation to the products of our self-experience than either westerners or Hindu's do.


Even in chaos theory, the perception is that we are gaining knowledge to explain the nature of chaotic systems when actually we are really only defining the boundaries in which chaotic movement is restrained. We can see implicate order in datasets that are assumed to be chaotic (e.g: Mandelbrot & Julia sets) but the true definition of any particular location of any particular data-point at any particular moment, eludes us.

There is no true formula for turbulence and I doubt very much that actual randomness exists in nature (the closest we can get to true turbulence is the systematic pseudo-randomness of the Navier-Stokes equations. While they are close to the answer, are equally in question as to their accuracy).

All science is built upon events that exhibit levels of complexity. As an example, we can see the high correlation of the supersymmetric nature of theorised physics but live in an existence totally demonstrative that the concept MUST be untrue. No one has yet produced a definitive description of how, or why, such supersymmetry is broken.

Ramp this up with complexity upon complexity to the level of biology and even the enormity of the problem becomes incalculable. But I'm sure, however, that someone will try and define the limits of our ability to calculate it, and that others will believe that this is a valid answer, even if it is to a different question.

Science, in its current form has examples of double-think, mutually exclusive conclusions, everywhere. Yet in in the minds of the majority, it proceeds as if it didn't.

edit on 12/3/2017 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 13 2017 @ 12:00 AM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: chr0naut

By complexity I mean systems theory/chaos/non-linearity.

This is a more complex way of seeing things than the simplistic methods of scientific reductionism.

Don't get me wrong - reducing things is interesting and a useful part of our current knowledge base. Atoms are now seen to be made of smaller particles - neutrons/protons/electrons. Protons/Neutrons in turn are regularities of even more energetic quark-gluon reactions.

With Quantum field theory, we now also have a sense of how space emerges (as a gravitational field). All of this is the product of reductionism.

But yes - I'm specifically referring to the NECESSITY of increasing representational awareness - i.e. how you know and understand cause and effect - and not simply trusting, as most religious people do, their initial affectivity.

Mindfulness - a uniquely Buddhist concept - has proven indispensable to western scientific approaches that study the mind i.e. neurosciences, phenomenology and psychodynamics. All of these understandings are buttressed by the Eastern conviction - and belief - that the mind can pay attention to its own functionality without becoming "absorbed".

It's a profound position, which, naturally, assumes a far more skeptical relation to the products of our self-experience than either westerners or Hindu's do.


With the state of mindfulness, I doubt its veracity to illumine on topics of objective science. Subjective, yes, possibly.

No amount of introspection can tell us, for example, the balance of hormonal forces within our bodies at any particular instant - the balance between insulin and glucagon is sensed and controlled but is entirely managed below the level of consciousness - It requires external and personally invasive assays to find the data.

I understand that there is a push to combine Eastern philosophies into science but far too often they embrace an absence of thought and 'being in the moment' that draws no conclusions. This is at odds with scientific method.



posted on Mar, 13 2017 @ 08:00 PM
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originally posted by: Michet
Some links you might find interesting:

"Are we as a society at risk for nihilism? Are we more vulnerable now to ideologies and conmen who promise to do what God used to do for us and society? While Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the future, the non-religious are less so than the religious. It seems Nietzsche may have been wrong in the long run about our ability to deal with the idea that God is dead."

"The impact of the social group could help explain why religion might in a very literal sense be what Karl Marx defined as “the opium of the people”: It can tap into the ability to access our own store of beliefs and expectations, especially when we’re surrounded by other believers who are doing the same."

"Healing rituals create a receptive person susceptible to the influences of authoritative culturally sanctioned ‘powers’. The healer provides the sufferer with imaginative, emotional, sensory, moral and aesthetic input derived from the palpable symbols and procedures of the ritual process—in the process fusing the sufferer's idiosyncratic narrative unto a universal cultural mythos. Placebo effects are often described as ‘non-specific’; the analysis presented here suggests that placebo effects are the ‘specific’ effects of healing rituals."


Too many slogans...

Nietzsche was wrong. His "God is dead" was more about Nietzsche's concept of God being irrelevant to his own philosophy. Yet here we are, with theist questions still just as relevant, and it is Nietzsche who is empirically, and objectively, dead.

Is religion the "opiate of the masses"? Take a look around, religion is more like the testosterone and amphetamine of the masses, not some placative soporific. It is funny that the same people who spout Marx's witticism cannot also see how it clashes with their insistence that religion somehow is the cause of all wars (neither case is true).

... and many healings in a religious setting, go far beyond what could be attributable to placebo. Placebo's don't set bones, cause rapid replacement of damaged tissue, fuse severed neural pathways nor can it explain the most amazing healings, like resurrection. Again, a non-think answer (the placebo) is being proffered as explanation for the occasionally wel-evidenced miraculous.

Swamp gas.

edit on 13/3/2017 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



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