I was thinking that these words from A.N. Whitehead's "Science and the
modern world" (1926) are highly relevant to our discussions:

"When you are criticising the philosophy of an epoch do not chiefly direct
your attention to those intellectual positions which its exponents feel it
necessary explicitly to defend. There will be some fundamental assumptions
which adherents of all the variant systems within the epoch unconsciously
presuppose. Such assumptions appear so obvious that people do not know what
they are assuming because no other way of putting things has ever occurred
to them. With these assumptions a certain limited number of types of
philosophic systems are possible, and this group of systems constitutes the
philosophy of the epoch" (p.61)

What assumptions are we blind to? From my own perspective, we assume an
education system and a science system which enables us to talk this kind of
talk. We rarely talk about the context which these systems create for us.
In order to get another "way of putting things", we should try see more
clearly the full gamut of constraints which bind us to our existing ways of
putting things.

Best wishes,


On 19 October 2017 at 14:54, Pedro C. Marijuan <pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es>

> (Message from John Torday --Note: neither the list nor the server do
> accept attachments)
> -------- Mensaje reenviado --------
> Asunto: Re: [Fis] Verification of the Principle of Information Science
> Fecha: Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:45:07 -0700
> De: JOHN TORDAY <jtor...@ucla.edu> <jtor...@ucla.edu>
> Para: Pedro C. Marijuan <pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es>
> <pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es>
> Dear All, I feel like the beggar at the banquet, having arrived at the FIS
> of late in response to Pedro's invitation to participate, having reviewed
> our paper on 'ambiguity' in Progress in Biolphyics and Molecular Biology
> (see attached). In my deconvolution of evolution as all of biology
> (Dobzhansky), I have reduced the problem to the unicellular state as the
> arbiter of information and communication, dictated by The First Principles
> of Physiology- negative entropy, chemiosmosis and homeostasis. I arrived
> at that idea by following the process of evolution as ontogeny and
> phylogeny backwards from its most complex to its simplest state as a
> continuum, aided by the concept that evolution is a series of
> pre-adaptations, or exaptations or co-options. With that mind-set, the
> formation of the first cell from lipids immersed in water generated
> 'ambiguity' by maintaining a negative entropic free energy within itself in
> defiance of the external positive energy of the physical environment, and
> the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The iterative resolution of that
> ambiguous state of being is what we refer to as evolution. For me,
> information and communication are the keys, but they are not co-equals. I
> say that because in reducing the question of evolution to the single cell,
> I have been able to 'connect the dots' between biology and physics, such
> elements of Quantum Mechanics as non-localization and the Pauli Exclusion
> Principle being the basis for pleiotropy, the distribution of genetics
> throughout the organism, and The First Principles of Physiology,
> respectively. So now, thinking about the continuum from physics to biology,
> literally, the Big Bang generated the magnitude and direction of both the
> Cosmos and subsequently biology, i.e. life is a verb not a noun, a process,
> not a thing. For these reasons I place communication hierarchically 'above'
> information. Moreover, this perspective offers answers to the perennial
> questions as to how and why life is 'emergent and contingent'. The
> emergence is due to the pleiotropic property, the organism having the
> ability to retrieve 'historic' genetic traits for novel purposes. And the
> contingence is on The First Principles of Physiology. So we exist between
> the boundaries of both deterministic Principles of Physiology and the Free
> Will conferred by homoestatic control, offering a range of set-points that
> may/not evolve when necessary, depending on the prevailing environmental
> conditions.
> And by the way, this way of thinking plays into Pedro's comments about the
> impact of such thinking on society because in conceiving of the cell as the
> first Niche Construction (see attached), all that I have said above plays
> out as the way in which organisms interact with one another and with their
> environment based on self-referential self-organization, which is the basis
> for consciousness, all emanating from the Big Bang as their point source.
> So with all due respect, Information is the medium, but communication is in
> my opinion the message, not the other way around. I see this as a potential
> way of organize information in a contextually relevant way that is not
> anthropocentric, but objective, approximating David Bohm's 'implicate
> order'. Ciao for now, I hope....John Torday
> On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 4:35 AM, Pedro C. Marijuan <
> pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> After Xueshan clarion call, I partially change what I was writing. Of
>> course I have to thank him for his support of the 10 principles. Actually,
>> in connection with the recent exchanges, particularly with Gordana's and
>> John (Torday) posts, I was working in some ideas further related to the
>> principles. On the one side the general view on the "new kind of natural
>> science/philosophy" around information, and on the other side the
>> transcendentalism of life... I think they also connect with Xueshan call of
>> synthesis between info disciplines in his last paragraph. Trying to be
>> concise I present herewith three points:
>> First. "There is Life--and Information."
>> Second. "We contemplate the World."
>> Third. "The society around us."
>> 1. Life and Information: In biology, information is the new mantra. All
>> kinds of scientific-technological-entrepreneurial gurus have proclaimed
>> it, based on the revolutionary discoveries and gigantic bio-data
>> accumulations. But scientifically, few people are trying to accommodate a
>> new central theory of biology that could incorporate that new empirical
>> reality of amazing complexity. In my own preliminary approach I describe
>> how the simplest cells confront "the information flows" of their
>> environment and couple them with the inner information flows related to
>> their self-production, always doing it adaptively. Regarding the excellent
>> work that John Torday has done on the evolutionary organizational
>> achievements of multicellulars, as he mentioned, there are ample
>> possibilities of mutual connection... Everything is rather  preliminary but
>> at least we can open the door so that other people behind could do it
>> better.
>> In any case, around life and information, we see an amazing world of
>> molecular complexity in action that contains some of the fundamentals of
>> the new info perspective. The living cell can really "perceive" selected
>> portions of the world around (information flow) and regularly intercepts
>> them by means of its sensory apparatus (signaling system). Then it reacts
>> adaptively, modifying its processes and structures according to inner
>> stocks of permanent information (knowledge), sculpting a life cycle, also
>> communicating with other living cells, and really building "molecular
>> meaning" upon the received signals. Besides, the pervasive horizontal gene
>> transfer in microbial ecosystems (phages, viruses, plasmids, sex...) has
>> generated a collective multi-species assemblage or genuine "planetary
>> library" of global molecular knowledge. It is not bombastic, as all
>> planetary cycles of fundamental elements that sustain all present life are
>> based on trillions of molecular machines of prokaryotes that have been
>> churning around for eons. This Molecular Internet of sorts (Sorin Sonea
>> dixit) was the beginning, and made possible so many things that now we may
>> call in so many ways: evolvability, autopoiesis, agency, informational
>> existence, ecological webs, ecosphere, GAIA, etc.
>> We may discuss quite legitimately about information physics, but
>> clarifying first the scientific discourse about biological information by
>> means of a new consistent viewpoint looks a priority (at the same level, at
>> least).
>> 2. Looking at the World: After the incredible complexification of life,
>> nervous systems, etc. we, the improbable, the unexpected, are here. And
>> like our humble bacterial ancestors, we have to confront the world for our
>> individual living, and so we regularly contemplate and are immersed  into
>> the quasi-infinite information flows of the environment. But this time, by
>> means of language, acting both as our new social communication tool and as
>> an open-ended symbolic system, our collective capabilities of relating with
>> the world have boomed. And historically we have developed those social
>> repositories or stocks of knowledge we call science and all kinds of
>> accompanying technological tools that allow us a new contemplation and
>> action onto the world around. Now we can sense the most remote perceptions,
>> we can colligate them with the different disciplines, and produce adaptive
>> (or non adaptive) responses, with supposedly the final goal of advancing
>> our lives both individually and collectively.
>> The new kind of science/philosophy to establish around this informational
>> "looking at the world"  would demand a new "observer", in this case
>> starting from a differentiated set of disciplinary principles of
>> observation. But that creates a lot of logic and scientific difficulties.
>> Recognizing the limitation of the agent/observer is one of them; leaving
>> open-ended the observable is another. I am aware of the invincible
>> circularity that easily surrounds all of this. So the need of a set of new
>> principles sidestepping the worst problems and allowing fresh new thought.
>> Probably, the easiest part would be the parallel realization of a new
>> synthesis incorporating a new stock of scientific concepts (admittedly,
>> most of them in the making yet); at least it could start by a compendium of
>> the numerous theories around information already existing. At the end, a
>> more "natural" and efficient approach to our limitations in the individual
>> and social handling of "knowledge ecologies" would also emerge...
>> 3. The Society Around: When we look at our societies, what we see along
>> history is that the biggest global changes have always been induced or
>> accompanied by substantial changes in the information/communication flows
>> around individuals: writing, codices, printing press, books, newspapers,
>> new media, computers, internet, social networks... Our societies have
>> always been "information societies." The current acceleration of artificial
>> information flows represents a challenge to the most natural info flows
>> (face to face conversation) so ingrained in our social and psychological
>> adaptation and personal lives. Paradoxically, in the "information society",
>> mental health and wellbeing problems are steadily mounting as public health
>> problems (a terrible escalation of depression and suicides), plus new
>> de-socialization pathologies that are emerging, including the resurgence of
>> nastiest political movements at a global scale. We do not recognize the
>> perils and pitfalls of that intangible "social information" stuff,
>> explosive like nitroglycerine in social milieus when improperly or
>> maliciously handled. In many ways, the advancement of social information
>> science is tremendously important, and I quite agree with the gist of the
>> message just received from Xueshan... we must have a specific session
>> devoted to it.
>> Along coming weeks, we can progressively ascend along the topics related
>> with the principles, entering into biology, and then to other territories,
>> perhaps until finally confronting the hottest social challenge... At least
>> I will periodically make suggestions in that sense. Maintaining our usual
>> chaoticity is not a bad thing either--as usual navigating in between Scilla
>> and Charybdis.
>> All the best
>> --Pedro
>> --
>> -------------------------------------------------
>> Pedro C. Marijuán
>> Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
>> Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
>> Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
>> Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta 0
>> 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
>> Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 <+34%20976%2071%2035%2026> (& 
>> 6818)pcmarijuan.iacs@aragon.eshttp://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
>> -------------------------------------------------
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Dr. Mark William Johnson
Institute of Learning and Teaching
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
University of Liverpool

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Email: johnsonm...@gmail.com
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