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Stuart Kauffman: Reinventing the Sacred

Stuart Kauffman, biologist and complexity theorist, gives a talk about his latest book: Reinventing the Sacred. If you wanted to invent a religion that was much more interesting than outmoded simplistic ones like, oh, Judaism or Christianity etc. then Kauffman’s ideas would be a much better starting point.


3 comments on “Stuart Kauffman: Reinventing the Sacred

  1. admin says:

    Yeah he is – and he is onto something with his notion of systems self configuring to maximize the adjacent possible.

    The only problem is that his writing style is somewhat opaque, and its sometimes easier to read commentary.

  2. Paul Baclace says:

    Stu Kauffman has outdone himself in this empirically grounded metaphysics of the phenomenon of emergence that turns the centuries-old mind/body dualism versus reductionism debate into a moot point. The upshot is emergent phenomenon, which lose meaning and are computationally impractical in the reductionist conception, become the new soul.

    The idea is not free. Reductionists must concede that mathematical Platonic perfection has practical limits. Dualists gain a concession from Reductionists, but must concede that emergent phenomenon are not other-worldly and immutable.

    The study of emergence (complexity theory) has been going on for decades and this idea has been in the air. The brilliant interdisciplinary Stuart Kauffman is the right guy to get these santafe.edu ideas discussed in the broader scientific world.

    (If you naturally think in terms of systems, like I do, then all of this seems rather obvious. Interestingly, Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan fits into the anti-Platonic picture at the statistical level.)

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