Have continued mulling over what seemed to me @ first a strong (& irreconcilable?) juxtaposition between Mark's claim that "Prediction is the Gold Standard of Understanding"" and Paul's argument that the goal of science is bringing into existence "previously unconceived alternatives." Alan's talk this week got me visualizing a way to take these two bookends, these "two sides of emergence," of expansion and contraction, and "twist" these parts (with a turn like that which produced Alan's moebius strip) into a whole that has a single "side"--a single coherent argument.
The talk on Inquiry as Emergence: Product and Contributor can be found @http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/reflections/emergencedec07/ & discussion following @http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1551#comment-55284
From: "Douglas S. Blank" Date: Tue, November 13, 2007 9:29 am
Emergenauts, Tomorrow I'll lead a discussion on the idea of "Downward Causality" from the book "The Re-emergence of Emergence". The basic question is: is the world just "bottom-up", or is there room for "top-down" causation? For example, do "ideas" cause things to happen? Or is it all "just" Physics? We'll again meet at 8am, Park Science, room 230. Muffins, scones, and coffee served.
Emergenauts, Next Wednesday, Karen Greif will lead a discussion on the topic "Determining the Minimal Genome for Life". Due to popular demand, Karen has provided a background reading "Toward the Engineering of Minimal Living Cells" which is available on the Emergence website: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/scienceinsociety/emergencegroup/ There you can also find audio of all of the past meetings this year (the latest now in a handy MP3 format).
From: "Douglas S. Blank" Date: Mon, October 29, 2007 10:05 am
Emergenauts, We will again meet this Wednesday, Halloween. One thing that you might want to do prior to the meeting is send me your suggestions for invited speakers on topics related to emergence. We will continue discussions on: - levels of emergence - "sufficient complexity" - role of noise in neural circuitry - neuronal activity vs. behavior - reductionism, re frogs and jet airliners - invited speakers list - muffins and scones
From: "Douglas S. Blank" Date: Mon, October 22, 2007 12:30 pm Emergenauts, This Wednesday, 8am, we will continue our discussion on emergence of neuron functioning and behavior in the leech. Some interesting questions emerg..., er, appeared from the conversation last week: - how does a emergentist scientist work differently from a reductionist scientist? - are these two scientists asking the same questions? do they have the same goals? - do they use the same tools? can one scientist use both techniques?