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I contrast science with scientism

April 20 2012 at 6:38 AM

  (Premier Login Oscar50)
Forum Owner


Response to Time to upgrade the old vocabulary

I agree with you. When science turns into a religion, I call it scientism. We see scientism in man made global warming, to some extent in evolutionary debates.

I bought a book recently called LifeOS , by a fellow that used to post on these forums, jim cranford.

He makes the point that it is the DNA that makes it all happen.

How does DNA "evolve"? How did it come into being?




http://lifeos.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/so-what/

All organisms alive today, plus the remains of all living things that have gone before, all the organic compounds, all fossils, all fossil fuels, all the biomass accumulated by this planet over billions of years, exists because information coded into DNA was accessed, read and acted upon by a cell. Before any one of those cells could grow, before any living tissue could be manufactured, before any polypeptide chains could be assembled, before anything could happen in ANY cell, DNA information had to be processed. Information processing is the very first act of Life.

So what? says the guy in the back. Good question.

What are we talking about Information processing. The first info processor we think of is a computer. Our civilization is driven by computers processing information. What makes computers so powerful is that they represent a fundamental process. Everything we see in this physical Universe is the result of a process. So a computer can be programmed to mimic just about anything out there.

Information Processing Loop

A computer can do this because it processes ones and zeros, following the same basic steps as any process. It starts with input and processes that input into output. Our nervous system processes information from the environment and presents its output to us as consciousness. Both are information processing in action.

Okay, at the micro level, information processing is a pretty good model for how things work. When we take info processing to the macro level, we have billions of computers hooked together in a global network, each one cranking out billions of those process cycles every few seconds. Altogether they generate all of the content the internet is displaying right now, including this.

It has taken millions of pretty smart people several decades, to figure out how to build and maintain this incredibly complex network. In the process they have discovered a set of mathematical laws that govern the growth of networks in complex systems. They have found that these laws are the same regardless of scale or implementation.

That is, the rules are the same for computer networks, neural networks, cardiovascular systems, river systems, social networks, bureaucracies and just about anything that grows to move matter or information. All along Nature has been following the same fractal power laws that we have developed for the building of the internet.

So, the internet represents fundamental process, and a global interconnected system of processors, that mimic Natural systems. The language of information technologies provides a common vocabulary for discussing everything from Biological Systems and Evolution to Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness.

What we have here is a universal language that describes information processing and its networks in minute detail. This is the language of the 21st century, taught in schools all over the world. This is the language and model of process that we need to give us a common denominator for a unified theory of reality.

Once we start to look at biological systems as being information processors first, with protein production being secondary output, a very different picture emerges of their structure and organization. Come along with me while we explore this exciting territory.

 
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