20180523

How to have great ideas in a deterministic world


PSI Blog 20180523 How to have great ideas in a deterministic world


Thanks to reader joogabah for the comment:

Can linguistic determinants be reduced to the motion of matter, or does human subjectivity create an emergent, superordinate domain of causation?

[GB: Progressive scientists assume the universe has only two phenomena: matter and the motion of matter. Causes are defined by microcosmic collisions per Newton's Second Law of Motion. Human subjectivity involves some of the most infinitely complicated emergent interactions.]

Is this what is confused with "free will" - because it provides a secondary, inherited information system (words rather than DNA) that is absent in all other species?

[GB: Because causality is infinite, almost anything we do can be confused with “free will.” Dawkins called culturally inherited ideas “memes,” which could be passed from generation-to-generation. Words are used to carry those ideas forward. Words and ideas, of course, are emergent—they evolve together (I have had to invent some myself). Without certain words, we can’t have certain ideas (one reason I put a glossary at the end of my scientific consulting reports). We learn of words and ideas through our senses, storing that info in our brains. All this involves matter in motion—nothing magical or mysterious about it.

Animals are not lacking words, just like they are not lacking consciousness. The sounds they make are limited and poorly understood by most of us, but those sounds are clearly useful for communicating with the external world. I bet that robin outside your window is not singing just for you.]   

Everything is still determined, but in this human context it is largely determined by ideas, instead of biological processes, chemical reactions and the physical motion of matter.

[GB: Sorry, but ideas cannot exist without “biological processes, chemical reactions and the physical motion of matter.” Any idea you or I might have will disappear when we no longer display “biological processes, chemical reactions and the physical motion of matter.” Unique ideas of solitary individuals die with them. That is why we communicate them to others. That is why we write books. Good ideas survive, while bad ideas do not. That is why Infinite Universe Theory will survive and Big Bang Theory will not. Of course, there is a time and place for each idea. The BBT survives because it fits the current univironment. Future generations will be amused, wondering: “What were they thinking?”

Ideas are becoming increasingly important for our species, but they will never be divorced from matter and motion of matter (see Ch. 13 on “The Myth of Exceptionalism” in "The Scientific Worldview"). The upshot is that no idea simply pops up out of nowhere. In the Infinite Universe all things, including ideas, evolve from other things. If you wish to have great ideas, you will have to learn complicated words and read or hear about other great ideas. You will have to combine the best parts of those ideas that help you to understand and navigate the external world.]


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