Reductionism and emergence – a naive argument

I do not understand why biologists consider physicists’ perception about the reality is so indifferent!!  I feel it is rather an opinionated point of view.

In a discussion, a friend quoted a work of Stuart Kauffman and his stance on the complexity theory and reductionist point of view.

Actually, we get to the reductionist results due to insufficiency and inability of available ‘computing’ resources, thus leads to the incompleteness in presenting the reality. So, the reduced reality give at least some understanding about the minimal system and interactions. It might not give the better description, however, not reducing it to the physical aspects of the system might not be possible. For example, assuming a biological cell as a function or functional, would not be ‘complete’ without the implications of theoretical chemistry, which incorporates the most of quantum&classical and statistical physics. It depends on what level they want to work out.

We try to describe the physical reality of natural phenomena, by adding complexity/ more details. Moreover, the macroscopic emergence and the critical phenomena occurred in the collection of atoms and molecules can not be ignored, could possibly infer a difference in the emergent behavior. In the “lovers on the banks of Seine” example, even an unintentional teasing (i.e., a word) can trigger and spoil the mood, ambience, etc. When one of the couple is, subjectively tolerant, this interaction would be still pleasant.

If one of them can be possibly affected by a trigger–pain,illness or anything affecting his/her ‘behavioral equilibrium’, same system-trigger composition would affect their state of mind.

If one of them is a practicing-yogi, the same composition of the interacting parts(system-environment-trigger) and the state of mind would not be affected.

I think the present state of the emergence problem is just due to the insufficient resources which we consider and most importantly how much of the reality we are interested in. When the couple wants to be happy, they just do the things which please them the most.

But if I want to be a trend-setter, I need to change the very basic ideas of the norms set. I could go deeper and deeper by adding additional levels and change the things in a completely newer level.

Sometimes, the natural process might be redundant or may contain voluminously unnecessary information. Therefore, picking the limits depend on which level I seek.

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6 thoughts on “Reductionism and emergence – a naive argument

  1. in recent discussion with a physics professor, he told that, the biologists skip the quantum behaviors and they are not considering about the subatomic particle level interactions. they can find the solutions if only they consider these.

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