Download e-book for iPad: Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and by Stuart A. Kauffman

By Stuart A. Kauffman

ISBN-10: 0465018882

ISBN-13: 9780465018888

Think about the complexity of a dwelling phone after 3.8 billion years of evolution. Is it extra outstanding to think transcendent God shaped the cellphone at a stroke, or to achieve that it developed with out Almighty Hand, yet arose by itself within the altering biosphere? during this daring and clean examine technology and faith, complexity theorist Stuart Kauffman argues that the traits of divinity that we revere—creativity, which means, useful action—are houses of the universe that may be investigated methodically. He deals beautiful proof for this concept in an abundance of fields, from telephone biology to the philosophy of brain, and makes use of it to discover universal flooring among trust structures frequently at odds with each other. A bold and impressive argument for a brand new figuring out of usual divinity, Reinventing the Sacred demanding situations readers either scientifically and philosophically.

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Extra resources for Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion

Example text

That is, it seems to me that one may array the sciences roughly linearly in a hierarchy, according to the idea: The elementary entities of science X obey the laws of science Y. ” At each stage entirely new laws, concepts, and generalizations are necessary, requiring inspiration and creativity to just as great a degree as that in the previous one. Anderson has, in private conversations, since introduced another argument for emergence. Consider, he said, a computer. We all know that digital computers typically manipulate 1 and 0 symbols, called bits.

Descartes opted for action via an organ in the brain, the pineal gland, which is a rather improbable hypothesis. The deepest claim of reductionism is that all events in the universe, from asteroid collisions to a kiss to a court in France finding a man guilty of murder, are “nothing but” the motions of particles. As philosophers like to put it, the “furniture of the universe” is limited to Laplace’s particles in motion. This “nothing but” view survived even after quantum mechanics did away with the determinism of Newton and Einstein.

Many outstanding scientists, including Nobel laureate physicists Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Weinberg, and David Gross, are reductionists. Theirs is the “nothing but” view. It is not foolish. Indeed, these physicists would strongly argue that reductionism is the only sensible approach to physics. They can buttress their argument with several centuries of frankly stunning successes. But if all explanatory arrows point downward, it is something of a quiet scandal that physicists have largely given up trying to reason “upward” from the ultimate physical laws to larger-scale events in the universe.

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Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion by Stuart A. Kauffman

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