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Re: Is Evolution "Quantum Chaotic" or is Quantum Chaos "Evolutionary?"
by Nemonemini
19 August 2002 22:39 UTC
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In a message dated 8/19/2002 11:47:29 AM Eastern Daylight Time, larondin@yahoo.com writes:

This wouldn’t be anything “fancy” but just an attempt to see if the patterns in Eonics might show a basic parallelism with other models in “Big History” as well as those of Relativity & Quantum theory (using my own idea of a “mathematics of pure relationality” both as a means of comparison w/ the other maps I’m talking about and a way of alternatively expressing the basic concepts of those other maps).  (At the very least, it’s just tinkering to see what fits); yet oftentimes that’s all we can do in our researches.  Anything more only comes with time, new discovery, and the empirical methods we [or others] employ to get data.

Issues of mathematics in biology have long suffered a kind of blight. I recall the remarks of David Berlinski at the end of his Tour of the Calculus about the way biology seems allergic to mathematical constructs. Population genetics does fine, in some ways, but it is not a theory of evolution, despite the hype.

The recent Quantum Evolution by J.J. McFadden addresses a number of issues here, and even that relatively rigorous work got shunted into Google's 'nuts' file (Darwin prejudice).
I know enough quantum mechanics to be wary of it in simplistic applications. McFadden addresses, for example, the really tough question of 'decoherence' and the resolution of that debate. The question keeps the whole thing on hold. What about Schrodinger's Cat and all that? And I must say that while mystic quantum mechanics is bunk, we don't get the straight story either. As Herbert makes clear in his Quantum Reality, it really is kind of weird. They keep the lid on that, and it is hard to sort it out sometimes.

But I might recommend that book. Elemental questions arise, like the fact of 'decision' in the contraction of muscle. Such a simple thing, in a monist versus dualist bedlam, is hard to sort out with current models. So it's all on hold.

I have an opinion, and it is just that, no more, that the universe shows a nice feature, the way to have your cake and eat it, that is, on one scale a sort of Newtonian mechanics, and on another the looser, queer world of the quantum.Perhaps this is relevant to issues of decoherence. The interplay of the two is suggestive of the way nature exploits two levels. I think somewhere in there lies one resolution of the obssessive reductionist consistency fixation.

But none of this really addresses the issue of 'eonic evolution'. As that is defined the term 'evolution' simply becomes a place-holder, a term simply defined in its own way, using correlated periodization.
The 'discrete-continuous' model is like tempo in music. We can't find a determinate solution to the notes in the music, but we can study tempo. Tempo is discrete to the continuity of the music.
So, being wary of the severe dangers of macrohistory, Big  History, it is legitimate to look for 'tempo'. And remarkably, with the data that we have, we do find a tempo. And what a drumbeat! So there is a somewhich of watchimacallit there somewhere, doing that tempo. It doesn't sound like much, but with a close look we can 'glimpse' evolution, whatever means we explore for explanation.

The problem with reducing this 'eonic model of emergent civilization' is that it is smart evolution. Such a sentiment is too radical for current reductionism.  It is strategic, global, directional,

Let me note in passing that Marx's intuition was on the mark, and his sequence of stages, whatever we think, is at least technically the type of a discrete-continuous model.
To call something that doesn't explain anything. It just means that where there is smoke there is fire.

I am looking through you math stuff, sounds interesting.

In general, we are way outclassed by evolution. We don't even see it. The means to explain it, gosh.
Note, by the way, the 'global' aspects of QM. All hushed up. We just reach the verge of some mystery, and it stops.
Could be that they will, or have already, resolved all this and redone causality to do away with the messy stuff, but I have a feeling that there is in fact something relevant there.
QM is really about two levels, a mechanical evolution of the wave system, and the interactive measurement process. Those two things are exactly the difference of levels that I find intriguing. Note that wave mechanics is one thing, while measurement is an historical gesture, i.e. someone does something in a lab, etc...
The appearance of those distinct modes is characteristic of the eonic model in a very different way.
So somewhere out there in Hilbert space their may be some juicy stuff that will help with evolution.

Anyway, the eonic model is really about a type of 'sheepherder' mechanics, similar to the mechanics of free agents in economic systems, except more complex. The behavior of individuals, and the structure of their behavior overall.
In history we see a distinct system like that. And it doesn't reduce to anything. It's just there.

John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
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