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Are emergent properties real?

by Cato
Tags: emergent, properties, real
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1977ub
#19
Mar31-13, 08:55 AM
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Quote Quote by Boy@n View Post
If I may... I'd like to reverse the question...

Is anything else than emergent property real?

...with this question I have "consciousness" in my mind, as it's the sole thing which makes reality real for each of us, in however way each of us perceives and experiences it...

I see our self-aware consciousness emerging out of our physical brains... but how that happens I know not (it seems though, that number of connections among neurons is just not enough, or we might say Internet is already self-aware).

Science surely helps us a great deal to understand our reality better and better, but we are still limited to our human ability of perception and comprehension... where proper definitions are the first obstacles to go deeper in understanding and communicating it. (To not mention personal agendas, emotions and beliefs.)

What is real? What is consciousness? Is our reality really just a very sophisticated simulation?

(IMO this thread is quite "entangled" with this one.)
From the POV of empirical science, there is not only a lack of proof of consciousness, there is no clear definition. So, empirically, in terms of what objectively exists, it doesn't even make sense to discuss it! Alternately, from POV of one subject's consciousness, empirical observations are merely aspects of conscious experience "whatever THAT is." Moreover, even if all of the natural behaviors one person attributes to consciousness "out there" are emergent via chemistry, biology, evolutionary selection - then we are still describing a universe where subjectivity per se is not observed ("can't ever be by definition") and thus can't be described as "emergent."

http://www.physicsforums.com/showpos...2&postcount=22
Crazymechanic
#20
Mar31-13, 11:06 AM
P: 853
@Q_Goest quite nice post there , to add , well here you say quote

"" ""Davies could be talking about a paper by Bishop for example, who suggests that these low level laws are necessary but NOT sufficient to describe Benard convection. Bishop suggests that additional physical laws ‘emerge from’ the interactions and that these additional laws govern the overall phenomenon such that without them, convection cells can’t form. """

Well to put this in a simple perspective we could use people and society.There are some laws that govern people when they are alone , some common things upon every individual that are theirs when they area alone, now when someone goes out and meets other people and even more when people come together in large groups like political party sessions or some public concerts or workplaces etc. some other common laws start to emerge and the behavior of people changes upon their interaction.
So interaction causes change and a different set of properties emerge to some it is more to some they change less but basically everybody's different in public than they are when alone.
So interaction causes some set of new rules.Now I think most would agree to this and psychology has studied it alot in various different ways.Now in physics there is something similar.
Upon interaction you get what you don't get otherwise.

the question then becomes are laws only the ones which are fundamental to everyone at the most basic level of their state (in the human case being alone) or are laws also the ones which emerge from interaction and which are observable only when interaction occurs.

@1977ub I would rather say that we can't observe objectivity because every law of maths or science or politics ever written and said every revelation or understanding about the world around us ever said has come from the person who said it and the person was obviously a man and he had a consciousness which he himself couldn't understand rather only encounter so there is no objective reality that we can see or understand , well I believe there is one but it is literally hidden from us and we see only the glimpse of it.
Q_Goest
#21
Mar31-13, 11:30 AM
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Quote Quote by Crazymechanic View Post
Well to put this in a simple perspective we could use people and society.There are some laws that govern people when they are alone , some common things upon every individual that are theirs when they area alone, now when someone goes out and meets other people and even more when people come together in large groups like political party sessions or some public concerts or workplaces etc. some other common laws start to emerge and the behavior of people changes upon their interaction.
So interaction causes change and a different set of properties emerge to some it is more to some they change less but basically everybody's different in public than they are when alone.
So interaction causes some set of new rules.Now I think most would agree to this and psychology has studied it alot in various different ways.Now in physics there is something similar.
Upon interaction you get what you don't get otherwise.
Thanks Crazymechanic, but I don't think it's correct to say there are any new physical laws that arise when people get together in large groups. What happens doesn't happen because a new physical law suddenly comes into being which governs the group as a whole and it doesn't require that we posit new physical laws. We can see group behaviors emerge but these are descriptions of what people do when they get together, not descriptions of new physical laws that govern groups. This type of emergence is known as weak emergence as described for example by Bedau who's paper is provided as a link in my last post.
Crazymechanic
#22
Mar31-13, 01:58 PM
P: 853
Well then would that imply that the classical laws of physics are "weak" and not truly fundamental rather the ones fundamental are the quantum ones ?
Q_Goest
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Mar31-13, 04:33 PM
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Quote Quote by Crazymechanic View Post
Well then would that imply that the classical laws of physics are "weak" and not truly fundamental rather the ones fundamental are the quantum ones ?
Basically yes, that's true. But we wouldn't call the laws weak, we'd say the classical scale laws are weakly emergent on the underlying quantum mechanical ones. Some would say that the 4 fundamental forces are the only forces and everything else is built up from them. The only caveat is at the microscopic level where nature is non-separable, we might find strongly emergent phenomena such as superconductivity which is to the best of my understanding, what Laughlin is referring to when he talks about the mesoscopic scale.
chill_factor
#24
Mar31-13, 04:41 PM
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Quote Quote by Q_Goest View Post
Phenomena that can be described by using classical mechanics are always separable and are never strongly emergent. They are only ever weakly emergent but that may not necessarily be true of non-separable systems.
Turbulence?

Protein folding too - despite being a molecular phenomena it is treated adequately with classical mechanics due to the atoms being approximately classical at all reasonable temperatures.
Crazymechanic
#25
Mar31-13, 05:25 PM
P: 853
Well i would go further as to say that even though our classical physics laws are built upon our quantum physics fundamental laws then again who has seen or can even imagine a universe with only one or few atoms in it ?
Now because atoms come in billions upon billions wouldn't it be fair to say that they are going to interact and create larger scale objects the macro world and then that world will have these emerging classical laws that we call classical just because they were the first ones we observed because we have a consciousness that can only observe classical large scale phenomenon.

The point goes something like this in order for someone to be aware of some kind of law existing at all he needs to be aware and consciousness is the one that makes this possible as I believe a chair isn't aware of being a chair.
Now that someone with his awareness is a macro object formed from quantum fields and objects but do we know of any quantum conscious object ? As long as I know we don't so we get consciousness when we hit the macro scale otherwise we would have consciousness inside another consciousness.

To go even further if we scroll back the universal movie before macro objects there were a quantum singularity now as we would agree a quantum singularity doesn't have consciousness she is not aware of herself and yet she comes out in a certain kind of way with certain laws , now can someone say why we have certain kind of laws rather than other ones? Are these the only ones that work ? Well I guess we cannot answer that either as we are a product of the lws that were coming out in the first place and worked.
Q_Goest
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Mar31-13, 06:31 PM
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Quote Quote by chill_factor View Post
Turbulence?

Protein folding too - despite being a molecular phenomena it is treated adequately with classical mechanics due to the atoms being approximately classical at all reasonable temperatures.
Hi chill factor. Turbulence is not unlike Benard convection. Protein folding however, is on that mesoscopic scale where we might expect non-separability. Read the paper by Laughlin referenced above as he mentions this too.
AlephZero
#27
Mar31-13, 07:36 PM
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Quote Quote by Q_Goest View Post
Turbulence is not unlike Benard convection.
I'm not personally convinced that "turbulence" is intrinsically any more complicated than the behavior of other simple dynamical systems, like the classic infinite series ##x_{n+1} = ax_n(1-x_n)##. One of the nice things about dynamical systems is that there are good physical reasons why they almost always have basically 1-dimensional behavior.

The hard parts about studying dynamical systems are (1) figuring out what are the right questions to ask about them to get "simple" answers and (2) figuring out the "simplest" generalized variables to use to describe them.

But whoever is the first to answer those type of questions for the Navier Stokes equation is in line for a $1m prize, so even if I knew part of the answer I wouldn't publish it on PF
tade
#28
Mar31-13, 10:48 PM
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Can somebody give a simplification/summary of Anderson and Laughlin's arguments?


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