[Bob Chute]: I'll read the 5 pages of hard copy [above], then, but at a glance: what emerges with consciousness is not purpose, but the capacity to imagine (consider the possibility) of purpose. The possibility to imagine Jesus converting the wine without trickery also emerges.
Re: Kauffman (notes jotted during reading the SALON interview)
Is a world in which anything is conceivable a world in which any conceivable things can exist?
Consciousness as a phenom emergent from language which in turn is emergent from thought? [my contribution to the inexplicable]
Newton was not a reductionist.
Laplace et al: The inability to predict doesn't prove acausality, only the failure of prediction. The sum of possible interactions may exceed the universe's capacity to compute an outcome.
"emergence" an old and standard concept — and useful
"Physics can not talk about values" because values are not the subject of physics, or biology, or statistics, or dog training.
How different is saying "agency is in the universe" from saying agency is an emergent consequence of the universe?
"We can not say how the biosphere will evolve"..big deal! Who thought we could?
"We didn't have the faintest idea what would happen with the invention of writing..." Well, K, we weren't there were we? But someone there might well have said or thought, This Will Lead To.. people do this all the time. Are usually wrong, but occasionally right.
"We are organisms with meaning in our lives..." that is, organisms who must behave as if there is meaning in their lives.
That the universe is chaotic need not mean it is meaningless, not lawless. A chaotic system is one so complex it appears random: the paths of causality are concealed by its complexity. Welcome to chaos.
[Bill Costley]: Tho raised & educated R.C., I've always dismissed Anselm's "Argument from 1st-[causeless] cause", imagining instead that existing things just accumulate from...wherever (Big Bang notwithstanding.) Impressed by what it imagines are revelations of 'perfect' design, mankind persistently projects 'perfection' by someThing Perfect. But many things are imperfect, subject to what we call evolutionary trial & error, etc. Towards what end - if any? Variation is not always improvement.