The fruits of chaos: How to spot emergence.
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- According to scientists, life is like an eddy in the flow of chaos.
- No single ant has any idea where it's going. But their individual behaviors reliably add up to something remarkable.
Life is like an eddy in the flow of chaos, according to scientists.
Jeremy England, an MIT physicist, studies the idea that life exists as an emergent property of thermodynamics.
From a Nautilus profile: "Somehow, from the churning of blind gears, something like purpose emerges. The pieces, individually obeying nothing more than the basic laws of physics, collectively accrue function."
Thirty years ago, Nobel-winning Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine held a similar view. .
There is nothing chaotic about gravity.
There's an ongoing debate about whether gravity itself is an emergent—rather than fundamental—force in the universe.
Jan 11, 2017
Creatures, cities, and storms self-organize, with low-level rules giving rise to higher-level sophistication. Entirely new properties and behaviors “emerge,” with no one directing and no one able to foresee the new characteristics from knowledge of the constituents alone. The whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.↩︎ PBS
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