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I would like to respond to Dr Richard Cocks' letter in the December 2003 issue.  As the letter states, entropy is a process of decay, whereas evolution may increase complexity.  However, they are not in conflict.


The theory of entropy implies overall decay only of closed systems.  The Earth is not a closed system, since it is continually receiving energy from the sun.  According to the theory of entropy, we would expect the sun to eventually burn out.  However, until then, the theory of entropy does not imply that there will be overall decay of the Earth.  Hence, entropy does not preclude evolution.

A comment of Dr Richard Cocks' article in the
December '03 issue
:

From James Gasson
Chaos theory does not avert entropy.  Chaos theory states that systems which follow
 simple rules can sometimes produce unpredictable (and maybe complex or interesting)
 results.  Specifically, unless the initial state of a chaotic system is known very precisely,
 it is impossible to predict what will happen to the system in the near future.  It is this
 unpredictability that earns a system the label chaotic.  This chaos (unpredictability in
 the short term) is quite different from the decay of entropy.


As for chaotic attractors, these are points of equilibrium, which a system might settle
 upon if it approaches.  A bottle floating on the currents of the ocean could serve as
a passable analogy.  The bottle may float on the ocean for years, or it may float close
 to land, and be washed ashore.  I doubt that God "pulling us in the direction of higher
 development through gentle persuasion toward love" fits in here, although I would be
interested to see formulae that suggest otherwise.


Also, allow me to put forward a couple of amendments to Holonism, as it was
described in the letter.  Firstly, God, as the omniscient creator of all, has the
 maximum span and minimum depth.  Therefore the theosphere belongs at the
 lowest, most primitive level.  And secondly, mental disorders depend on minds
 to exist.  Hence mental disorders have greater depth and less span than minds. 
Thus I propose that the level above the noosphere, displacing the theosphere,
 should be the quackosphere.

James Gasson BSc

 
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