Dear Friends - please do not take the following critique as disrespectful but 
the following amusing thoughts came into my head as I read that the cosmos is 
engaged in computing and is a cosmic computer. During the age of polytheism the 
different aspects of the cosmos were at war with each other and the cosmos was 
a battleground. Then with monotheism the cosmos bifurcated into the good side 
with angels fluttering about God sitting on a throne and the cosmos was 
basically praying and doing all kinds of good things except for the fallen 
angels who stoked the fires of the inferno somewhere in the netherworld. 

Then came Newton or as Alexander Pope put it

Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night;
God said "Let Newton be" and all was light.

Suddenly the cosmos was a machine, a clockworks, that God created, set in 
motion and the cosmos mechanically followed the Creator's law.

My couplet for our current time with attribution to Alexander Pope is:

Now we are in the brave new age of information  
God said "Let Turing be" and all was computation.

Suddenly the cosmos has evolved into a cosmic-super-computer having evolved 
from the clockwork universe which had in turn evolved from the dual domain of 
God's heaven and the Devil's hell which had in turn evolved from the 
battleground of the gods. What's next. Well from biology we got the Gaia 
hypothesis, the earth as an organism. What would be the next step - yes you 
guessed it the Cosmic Organism. Just google "cosmic organism" and you will find 
some 20,200 hits.

It does not stop there either - here are the following cosmoses as revealed by 

quantum cosmos - 194,000 hits

string theory cosmos - 10,000 hits

holographic cosmos - 2,200 hits

black hole cosmos 20,200

In fact take any metaphor from science or technology and someone will have a 
theory how our cosmos operates as that technology or science metaphor. 

With the concept of the multiverse or multiple universes we are back to the 
polytheistic world since every universe will have its own God. 

My conclusion is that there is one cosmos with multiple ways of describing it 
each of which employs a particular metaphor. The computational universe is just 
one example in a long line of cosmic metaphors and as our science and 
technology evolves so will the metaphors to describe this cosmos of ours. 

with kind regards - Bob Logan

On 2012-05-15, at 9:42 AM, Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic wrote:

> Dear Bob,
> I am not sure if I have right to reply, but you make a very important remark.
> The answer is: computing nature performs much more than existing computers.
> What is computable in computing nature is what nature is able to perform 
> through its continuous changes.
> Dialectical processes are also typical in nature and thus in the framework of 
> computing nature, those also are computations.
> In short the question is: what kind of computations are those dialectical 
> processes?
> That is what we want to learn.
> All the best,
> Gordana
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Ulanowicz [] 
> Sent: den 15 maj 2012 15:36
> To: Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic
> Cc: Bruno Marchal;
> Subject: Re: [Fis] Stephen Wolfram discussing his ANKS in Reedit this Monday
> Quoting Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic <>:
>> 2.       Whatever changes in the states of the physical world there  
>> are, we understand them as computation.
> Dear Gordana,
> I'm not sure I agree here. For much of what transpires in nature (not  
> just in the living realm), the metaphor of the dialectic seems more  
> appropriate than the computational. As you are probably aware,  
> dialectics are not computable, mainly because their boundary value  
> statements are combinatorically intractable (sensu Kauffman).
> It is important to note that evolution (which, as Chaisson contends,  
> applies as well to the history of the cosmos [and even the symmetrical  
> laws of force]) is driven by contingencies, not by laws. Laws are  
> necessary and they enable, but they cannot entail.
> Regards,
> Bob
> _______________________________________________
> fis mailing list


Robert K. Logan
Chief Scientist - sLab at OCAD
Prof. Emeritus - Physics - U. of Toronto

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