Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Beautiful Math

Note I sent to the author upon reading A Beautiful Math: 

Loving your book A Beautiful Math. I was hoping for a little more math than it has, but I've chased up a few of the papers you mention to get my math fix.

I was interested in your mention of Paley's watch. You pointed out that by comparison with natural processes a watch is quite simple. Merely a few springs and cogs, compared to the processes of nature.

But is this not the problem? We have an artefact sustained in significant (at least local) disequilibrium for no apparent reason; it has a specified function that is the result of a large number of coordinated dependency chains that are themselves in disequilibrium with their environment (e.g. production of brass requiring mining, refining, transport, smelting, etc, similarly for glass, paint and other components).

But, that aside; let's accept the simplicity of the watch. Compared to the complexity and interactions of the natural world, that surely raises the question that you in a question begging wave of the hand dismiss. If a simple ol' watch needs a designer, by induction, so does a more complex assembly of mutually dependent systems.

Of course, you dismiss this too, I guess because you prefer that reality is finally material and cognition, love and will are merely epiphenomena of stochastic material interactions, with no basic connection to Being. I differ on this and prefer to understand that fundamental to reality is mind (person); by implication, love, relationship and will are real: they have basic unconstructed connection to Being. I also think that this makes better sense of how people actually live.

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