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Math And Logic In Physics And Biology

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Posted by M.W.Pearson on July 21, 2003 19:38:45 UTC

Hi Mike Levine:
Thanks for taking time to reply!
One thing you wrote was: "Well, the universe is too big and complex a thing for anyone to be sure of anything about it. I'd rather stick with math and logic, if only because I'm not able to handle much more."

MP replies:
I feel sure that you can input the observational data to math and logic/science logic equations.

ML wrote:
"It's really hard to find use for metaphors in modern physics. Everything that relates to the world of our perceptions, which could be understood through metaphors, has already been understood."

MP:
Lots of phenomena have not been systematically observed. Metaphor is a vehicle for enabling the
human mind, however well trained to begin step one of a more rigorous investigation using tools of math and logic including science logic. There is more to this. "For that you have to buy the CD." Kidding.

ML wrote:
"If biology is not just complex physics, what is it then? Are they implying that biology contradicts physics? That would be foolish. Are they saying they haven't found a way to reduce biological processes to physical processes? That used to be true of chemistry not long ago. I think the statement holds little value for physicists, but it may have some value for biologists. It makes no sense to tell a painter that painting is about putting the right amount of the right color on the right spot on the canvas, even if that is what it really is. Different problems require different ways of thinking, but the underlying truths remain the same."

MP: I think Kiersey elaborated some. Physical processes, you say? But you made the case earlier for the importance of abstract processes.
And there has been a long-discussed dichotomy between mechanistic and organic processes. You might note that the human brain appears to consider various scenarios abstractly before proceeding physically. That is something the physical universe, as far as we know, does in such grand detail only when an apparatus is arranged for doing it -- such as an advanced brain.
So we have a meta-universe of abstraction, mind, whose complexity enables us to depart from mechanistic energy pathways into the future
and in fact, consider various possible pathways.
Dr. Prigogene was quoted as saying something such as that complex systems are always teetering on the brink of collapse or of reorganizing on a higher level of coherence.
I was thrilled to read this either in
Robert Anton Wilson's books or in Fred Alan Wolf's book Space, Time and Beyond.
ML wrote:
"For instance, the concept of waves helps one learn quantum mechanics, but eventually one must understand that sound waves and ocean waves are made of atoms, not the other way around."

What causes the waves has not been figured into what you wrote. Metaphors are an entry point.
What say you now?
Sincerely,
Mike Pearson in Ellensburg today



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