LINGUIST List 13.2735

Tue Oct 22 2002

Disc: 2nd to Last Posting - Darwinism & Evolution

Editor for this issue: Renee Galvis <reneelinguistlist.org>


Directory

  1. Nemonemini, Re: 13.2704, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang
  2. Nemonemini, Re: 13.2721, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang
  3. Nemonemini, Re: 13.2721, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang

Message 1: Re: 13.2704, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 22:09:07 EDT
From: Nemonemini <Nemoneminiaol.com>
Subject: Re: 13.2704, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang


Re: Linguist 13.2704

> Actually this is simply a matter of definition. It goes like this:
> 
> random + deterministic = random
> random*deterministic = random
> 
> The former is "additive noise" and the latter "multiplicative noise",
> and both are random. "Random" is not equal to "uniforrmly random",
> thus one can find broadbrush patterns in random phenomena.
> 

I recommend a good biography of Isaac Newton, when you start trying to
figure out both reality and the methodology with respect to reality at
the same time. You will discover that science as we know is monkey see
monkey do plus ingenious math tricks. Once off the mother lode of hot
physics and hard science, we are all bewildered, and our quest is for
a methodology. Physicists succeed because they a built in guide,
causality as a concept requires no real understanding in the
application of a deteministic math.

Somewhere in there read some Kant on causality, then on teleology, and
get really confused trying to get it straight. It is not possible,
probably, without sticking to a set of concrete facts.

Moral: these terms confuse us ad infinitum, and I am always wary of
such issues, the more so as Darwinism has totally confused everyone,
even the best physicists, who, unlike Newton, tend to be as confused
as anyone as soon as they are off the mainline of math tricks. We
don't have a methodology/ Newton at least knew that his system of the
world had limits, and spent more time on alchmey than his hobby,
physics.

What's the answer? A good example. The model of the eonic effect gives
you one free ride without tearing your head in knots on causality,
chance, or the rest, although these can spontaneously arise as
relevant. But you will understand history and the eonic model long
before you resolve the nature of causality in history and evolution.

I purport to show a large scale example of 'evolution in action' in
history. Its concreteness automatically subsumes causal/random
issues, and we are done before resolving the metaphysics there.

There random, and cause have a paired meaning, perhaps. But more than
that I simple replace the endless confusion over terms with my
'transitions', without stating the nature of causal explanation. In
evolution, and history, we are stuck with a Kantian antinomy. We
cannot ascribe cause, and we cannot not ascribe cause. As to the
random, it is built in, chance and necessity, braided.

You can see the crux in the way evolutionary theory breaks down over
levels of selection, cf. S.J. Gould's recent Structurre of
Evolutionary Theory.

At what level does 'causality' in the large operate, and is there such
a thing, and what could it mean? You see, behind the appearance of
rigor, Darwinism is simply a muddle. Gould, you can see, is in a quiet
panic over this muddle. He has to keep natural selection, but he can't
get straight at what level evolution of some other kind is
operating. You can't figure it out in the abstract, even if you are as
smart as Gould. The question of levels of selection disappears in the
eonic model. We see whole timeslices of cultural streams going into
overdrive on cue. So much for punctuated equilibrium.

As to a practical example, consider cars at a stop light, or traffic
in general. We have many senses of random, deterministic, and willful,
braided together. The trafffic is random, yet has agency in the wilful
acts of the drivers. The traffic goes through a deterministic 'stop'
at the stop light, etc... We can see by examination that this example
contains all the ingredients of historical theory, causality, will (if
any), randomness, all braided together. All the elements of concrete
meanings of these terms are present.

If we abstract from observation trying to determine our method,
evolution will defeat us. That fact is concealed in Darwinism, because
we assume we know what we have not in fact observed.

Incidentally, a Kantian perspective suggests that without empirical
data we will tend to a metaphysics. Surely that is the plight of the
Darwinist. His usage of 'random' and 'causal' is that peculiar variety
of the metaphysical that eschews the supernatural, and is insidious
for that reason. Kant warned of it.

In case you think physicists understand causality, go read Stephen
Hawkings A Brief History of Time and find the contradiction built into
the first paragraph (hint: one of the classic Kantian antinomies).
Physicists at least are lucky. They get a bone for an honest days
work.

So we need practical examples, full documented, something to work
with.

John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
http://eonix.8m.com
nemoneminieonix.8m.com
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Message 2: Re: 13.2721, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 23:43:49 EDT
From: Nemonemini <Nemoneminiaol.com>
Subject: Re: 13.2721, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang


RE Linguist 13.2721

> I realize I have to expand what I wrote.
> 
> It is best explained via equations. Let f(t) be some function of time,
> and r(t) be a random function of time. Then if y(t)= r(t)*f(t) and
> x(t)=r(t)+f(t), both x(t), and y(t) are random processes. This is due
> simply to definition of randomness. To apply directly to evolution,
> let the "evolution" of something very simple be given by the equation
> 
> dz(t)/dt + a(t)*z(t) = f(t)
> 

I will study this but I should say that (you will notice the fractal
on the cover of text) having started with the idea of complex systems
as a basis for modelling world history I set such things aside on the
grounds that what has to be 'modelled' is the qualitative, which can
never be numerical. Therefore, within limits, and without being
dogmatic, I suspect that ANY numerical model will be irrelevant to
historical evolution, at least. Of course, population genetics shows a
perfectly good way to bring exactness to one part of the basic set of
evolutionary considerations. But is the result evolutionary theory in
a real sense. The flaw, to me, can be seen in the old edition of Hartl
on pop gen, where the 'force' is brought in relation to natural
selection. The problem is that natural selection is not a force, and
evolution is not physics, and the equations don't really explain
evolution. What is this 'force', i.e. what's our game in terms of
foundational concepts? We can't say until we have the facts. But
those facts are on such a scale that we simply don't know what we are
to conclude about anything. So, your equations may or may not tell us
something about all this, but what's our subject?
 
The approach I adopt them does have a vestigial numerical aspect,
tempo. So we tap our feet, and there's one part of the model. If we
listen to music, we may not be able to model the music, but we can
study the tempo. In relation to that tempo we can also see the play of
a 'dynamic', though we are hard pressed to close on a 'force'
argument. My discrete-continuous model (like tempo, music,
technically is a discrete-continuous example, tempo and the musical
stream) is this retreat to the simplest generalization left after
everything else slips through our fingers. Example. the discrete
transitions a la the eonic model show strong correlation with complex
'event series', whose qualitative character is the issue. That's
history, and it doesn't even impinge on the question of genetics.

In terms of the passage quoted, the relation of randomness and
'causality' is that of the ordinary stream of history, and the
definable periods of transition, the one being random, by and large,
the other a causal surrogate (which can't be causality as such, too
multifaceted). But the elements of all of these aren't point masses,
or genes, but 'actions' of individuals, whose evolutionary aspect is a
change of consciousness. Thus, for history at least (and I mean to
annex the 'descent of man' to history in some overlap with evolution)
the crux is the transformation of consciousness. Bad news for any kind
of model But in history we do find the combination of this kind of
semi-numerical approach mixed with the core phenomena of being
human. There's not mystery there, as such, a play is after all one of
these 'discrete-continuous' cases. The scenes being 'discrete' and
the 'action' being continuous, so to speak. Consider a play with
degrees of improvisation, and also plays with no plot at all, the
actors just get on stage and boogie. The last case then shows 'random'
action, where the improvisation shows a spectrum, and is partially
determined, with some elements at 'random'. This kind of example
corresponds to the use of random and caused in the historical
domain. It is not really a numerical consideration.

Consider finally a puzzle. The pieces are scrambled, and seem
random. Then we see the relation of certain pieces to each other, and
solve a corner of the puzzle. Then we see the pieces cohere, and are
not random. Thus my usage is quite ordinary, and takes common sense
derivations. The term random is hardly a numerical issue at all. In
history it reflects the degree to which 'will' might be a factor and
the ability, or lack of it, to control the long range future comes
into play as the clear effect of these transitions to derandomize a
period, after which the effect ceases, and the action becomes
individualistic, but without the ability to control the future, hence
falling back into randomness. Look at the history of democracy in
relation to the eonic effect. These issues are real. We see the eonic
aspect of democratic generation. Yet in antiquity we see that
democracy failed to survive the 'non-random' eonic factor in the
emergence of democracy, then followed by renewed 'random' dispersal of
the transitional action. Etc... The usage of random and non-random is
clear from the actual data, and has no numerical coefficients.

John Landon 
Website on the eonic effect 
http://eonix.8m.com
nemoneminieonix.8m.com






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Message 3: Re: 13.2721, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang

Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 08:02:18 EDT
From: Nemonemini <Nemoneminiaol.com>
Subject: Re: 13.2721, Disc: Darwinism & Evolution of Lang

Re: Linguist 13.2721

> It is best explained via equations. Let f(t) be some function of time,
> and r(t) be a random function of time. Then if y(t)= r(t)*f(t) and
> x(t)=r(t)+f(t), both x(t), and y(t) are random processes. This is due
> simply to definition of randomness. To apply directly to evolution,
> let the "evolution" of something very simple be given by the equation
> 
> dz(t)/dt + a(t)*z(t) = f(t)
> 

??? And? To rescue the idea of randomness here in this fashion seems
beside the point. I use the word in an intuitive sense that is well
defined historically. If you had the ability to exert will over
millennia you could 'derandomize' history. But one doesn't. However,
remarkably, we can detect a 'derandomizing' process of directionality
there, my hypothesis. We don't have to bother with fancy
definitions. If you like I will restate the argument without the term
'random'.

As to these equations, give me some match to some data here, otherwise
so what? What is evolution? I am very radical here, I know. But take
economic models. Can you really take tidbits from a book of
differential equations and explain anything? The history of
non-achievement here is considerable. And yet economists do actually
have the data, see the examples they deal with. Yet the main thing is
some standard combination of these toys from math books.

In general, it's like Newton's second law before the discovery of
electromagnetism, assuming biologists might get that lucky. You need
to find what you are modelling. Then, indeed, they found that these
phenomena followed Newton's laws. But I should note that a generation
of the Faraday types, who weren't even trained in math did the real
foundatinal work. Faraday had a working model using a metaphor. And
this instance was still within the range of Newton's
framework. Evolution is not even in the same ballpark. Find me the
Force to found your subject in this manner. You won't likely find such
a force.

Also, let me inject this fellow Dembski's argument, although I am wary
of his design argument. I, and many others, have found this point over
and over. The moment you reify explanation as a mathematical system,
somehow determinate, if not deterministic (i.e. here you have a mixed
type of equation) your accounting falls off . The reason is that these
complex systems show an increase in information content if we compare
the before and after of their 'evolution'. Where does this come from?
We cannot _in principle_ use a differential equation, because initial
condistions contain the full information content, and that's the same
at end. So whatever else is the case, the differential equation won't
work here. Some where in that randomness, and 'determinate' nexus
there is a missing factor.

The point is obvious from the 'eonic model'. We have the correct suit
of clothing, expressed without equations, but they could be
provided. But if you look at each of the steps, the transitions, you
discover an evolution containing more than what you had to start with.


John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
http://eonix.8m.com
nemoneminieonix.8m.com
kFrom Nemoneminiaol.com Mon Oct 21 22:09:13 2002
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