On Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 10:03:55 AM UTC-6, telmo_menezes wrote:
>
> On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 3:40 PM, Lawrence Crowell 
> <goldenfield...@gmail.com <javascript:>> wrote: 
> > On Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 6:52:27 AM UTC-6, telmo_menezes wrote: 
> >> 
> >> On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 11:43 PM, Lawrence Crowell 
> >> <goldenfield...@gmail.com> wrote: 
> >> > It is interesting in some ways. However, it involves speculations on 
> >> > things 
> >> > we have no knowledge of. 
> >> > 
> >> > The idea involves these filters. The one "behind us" involves the 
> >> > barrier to 
> >> > intelligent life similar to us. There are few examples of brainy 
> animals 
> >> > similar to us. Cetaceans have large brains and clearly their songs 
> >> > contain 
> >> > complex information important to them. It is not clear that this is 
> >> > equivalent to complex thought such as mathematics. The other filter 
> >> > involves 
> >> > post-ET development where such life is limited by either 
> >> > self-extermination 
> >> > or the limits of light speed and the unapproachable scale of putative 
> >> > interstellar flight. 
> >> > 
> >> > I suspect planets with complex life above that of prokaryotic-like 
> life 
> >> > are 
> >> > few in number per galaxy. It is hard to know how even 
> prokaryotic-like 
> >> > life 
> >> > starts. The ribosome is a complex of RNA with polypeptides, and this 
> >> > thing 
> >> > is fairly universal. As yet we are not sure how this came about. So 
> it 
> >> > could 
> >> > be that the life bearing planets are already extremely rare. This 
> would 
> >> > make 
> >> > planets with complex life most likely very rare, and then up the 
> ladder 
> >> > the 
> >> > occurrence of intelligent life exceedingly rare. 
> >> > 
> >> > The occurrence of life might be a case of what is called hard 
> emergence. 
> >> > Soft emergence is something like the emergence of chemistry from the 
> >> > quantum 
> >> > mechanics of atoms. Strong emergence is the occurrence of entirely 
> >> > different 
> >> > principles, where this is not an established scientific concept. This 
> is 
> >> > of 
> >> > course a completely unknown territory. How life emerged is one of the 
> >> > great 
> >> > scientific questions. 
> >> 
> >> Are you sure this hard/soft distinction is meaningful? Life is what 
> >> happens when imperfect self-replicators enter the stage. It is true 
> >> that this appears to be a very unlikely event, and that how it 
> >> happened is an open scientific question, but what do you mean by 
> >> "different principles"? 
> >> 
> >> Telmo. 
> > 
> > 
> > Hard emergence is where a set of principles spontaneously occur without 
> any 
> > formal or causal connection with other principles. 
>
> For me "formal", "causal" and "emergence" are human mental constructs, 
> that help us create cognitively tractable models. They are epistemic 
> tools. 
> I would argue that the rules of nature in our universe always allowed 
> for carbon-based life. It might be mysterious how certain states of 
> apparent irreducible complexity were reached (search as the first 
> self-replicators), but I don't see how new principles where generated. 
>

Even if these are human constructs they are what we have to go by. Hard 
emergence just means the spontaneous creation of some process from nothing. 
This might in some ways be how the universe or on a grander scale the 
multiverse emerged. Hard emergence could occur within the observable 
universe. Maybe life itself is a case of that. Soft emergence is a 
situation where a process and set of systems occur built up "top down," as 
it is said, from more basic principles. Your case here of life being 
something built into the universe from the foundations is a case of soft 
emergence.

LC
 

>
> > We are familiar with the 
> > absorption of Goldstone bosons by gauge bosons that give them a 
> longitudinal 
> > mode and hence a mass. This would be a case of soft emergence. Of course 
> the 
> > boundary between hard and soft emergence is hard to know. The ribosome 
> is a 
> > pretty invariant structure in biology, and it is horribly complex. This 
> in 
> > some embarrassing way sounds similar to the irreducible complexity 
> argument 
> > of the creationist camp. As a result there may be a sort of intellectual 
> > impasse here, and potentially some clearer understanding of what is 
> meant by 
> > hard emergence might play a role. 
>
> For me, that is not so mysterious. Once self-replication starts, 
> certain successful things are replicated forever, even if then 
> embedded in increasingly complex structures. It appears that many 
> choices are arbitrary, the important thing is that they remain 
> inter-operable (e.g. the fact that most life on earth is based on 
> left-handed amino acids). 
>
> Telmo. 
>
> > LC 
> > 
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