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On 3 Aug 2001, at 18:33, Dace wrote:
> > Hi Dace,
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Dace <email@example.com
> > > Mechanism is far more compatible with creationism than evolution.
> > > The
> > point
> > > of evolution is that the species are not molded externally. Their
> > > forms arise from within, over time. [&&&] As long as we accept
> > > external creation-- whether supernatural or natural-- as opposed
> > > to
> > > we're still in the thrall of Authority.
> > << Very interesting point this !!
> > Our forms arise from within, as in Bergsons ' le moi profond ', as
> > the 'le Úlan vital ', as the " sentiment interieur ", as the " need/
> > urge by
> > !?
> > If so, I am all ears !!!
> Well, Kenneth, the vital impulse is problematic. The problem is that
> the closer we look, the less definition we find between life and
> nonlife. There's just no basis for positing a "force" that animates
> living matter and distinguishes it from nonliving matter. Organic
> matter had to become very complex before even the simplest of
> life-forms could have popped into being. We see in the
> self-arrangement of crystals that nonliving compounds can form up into
> "species." Crystallization tends to recapitulate already existing
> types. This is no different than amino acid chains "desiring" to fold
> up into one particular protein configuration and not any of the
> numerous mechanically correct alternatives. Just goes to show that
> Whitehead was on the right track when he said biology is the study of
> the larger organisms, while physics concerns the smaller ones.
> Whatever it is that makes life alive is also what animates physical
> existence in general. There's nothing privileged about living matter,
> just as there's nothing privileged about the location of the earth or
> the sun over any other place in the universe. Vitalism is just one
> more meme that stopped mattering.
It isn't a matter of a 'force', as any reader of John Von Neumann would
well know, but of the natural chemical properties of certain configurations.
To understand why DNA and RNA are such efficacious little replication
machines, and what they need to be able to do, and how they need to be
configured, to accomplish same, you need to read his masterwork THE
THEORY OF SELF-REPRODUCING AUTOMATA, published in 1966 by
the U. of Illinois Press. Complex and dynamically recursive
patternings make all the difference.
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