Daily Archives: 05/01/2012

And the alternative to emergence?

The alternative to emergence as an explanation for life, if you exclude more than astronomically-remote mere chance, is teleology. I always remember my introduction to the word “teleology”, which was in an evolutionary context. Well it wasn’t, really, but it was in the mouth of the only one of my medical teachers who took evolution at all seriously.

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The emergence of emergence as a tautology

I’ve recently had a brief exchange on Uncommon Descent with Elizabeth Liddle over emergence. She mentioned free-will as an emergent property of the brain, though she subsequently admitted she doesn’t like the term and prefers to think in terms of systems. My argument was (and is) that, in such a context, the word is essentially meaningless. I want to extend the argument here to the larger area of life in general.

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