Commenting upon Christophe's:

C: Assuming we put aside the reason of being of the universe, there is no 
entity 
to care about information before the coming up of life on earth.

-snip-: C: I feel that the meaning of information (whatever it’s naming) exists 
because there is a system that needs this meaning,

    S:  As a materialist, I am unable to see that something completely new can 
come into being without any precursor.  Thus, our 'meaning' had to have had a 
precursor relationship.  We are aided in identifying this by using the 
Aristotelian 
causal analysis, and we can find the general precursor of meaning in final 
cause.  
The universe itself, being in a non-equilibrium condition since its inception 
has 
the deepest finality of all -- the tendency toward thermodynamic equilibrium.  
Thus everything that happens, at all scales, has the meaning of furthering 
universal equilibration.  Our own human finalities are refinements added to 
this.

C: Information is a notion that we humans have invented as a set of tools to 
help the understanding and managing of our world. And animals also manage 
information.

   S:  All of the natural world as we name and model it is a 'human invention'.

Then Joseph says:  I like your approach. Here is something even simpler: the 
system is the meaning of the information. System and meaning are not totally 
separable. One's perspective focuses on one or the other, as the case may be.

    S: The universe fits this 'bill' nicely!

then Chritophe replies: Yes Joseph, you are right. As the satisfaction of the 
constraint is mandatory for the system to maintain its nature, system and 
constraint are indeed tightly linked.
The “stay alive” constraint came up on earth with the first organisms that had 
to 
maintain a local far from equilibrium status. The existence of the constraint 
goes with the being of the living entity.

     S: Once again, the universe fits this 'bill'.

then Søren replies: May I point out then that meaning of information is not 
information, but meaning and therefore not comprehensible in information 
theory or science?

    S: Yes indeed.  In the Aristotelian causal analysis, the system embodies 
formal 
causes.  Its aims are the finalities.

Søren adds:  Again, I would like to point out that "a local far from 
equilibrium 
status" is not enough to define life. It only defines a chemical aspect of 
living 
system as well as many other non-living systems. Our problem is that 
something about life evades our present scientific attempts to find a 
scientific 
model to describe it, because meaning is not a scientific concept and neither s 
first person consciousness, even if we include the largest informational 
paradigm as long as it is ontologically based on matter, energy and information 
only..

    S: What the living bring in is the preservation and multiplication of 
historical 
accidental configurations, which, nodding to John, increases dramatically the 
degrees of freedom in any system.  Their 'role' in the universe's project is to 
ferret out energy gradients that do not dissipate rapidly by conduction alone.  
Thus, the living, as dissipative structures, are basically convection centers.

STAN 


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