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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 1 through 15 of 118 found.


Family Ecosmos: A MultiUniVerse to HumanVerse Procreative Spacescape

The Genesis Vision > Historic Precedents

Canales, Jimena. The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate That Changed Our Understanding of Time. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. The Mexican-American historian of science author has a Harvard doctorate and is now at the University of Illinois, Urbana. The extensively researched volume, a scholarly book of the year, draws a sharp contrast between Albert and Henri as representatives of classic mechanist or organic persuasions. Akin to Jessica Riskin’s study (2016 herein), the historic options are personified by these iconic European figures in the early 20th century. Bergson is aligned with Alfred North Whitehead and others, while Einstein stands for the inorganic cast going back to Newton. And the question and dichotomy still persists a century later, as this website seeks to report a resolution via our worldwise Earthkinder in favor of an animate universe to human procreation.


Bergson, in contrast, claimed that there was more to Time that scientists had ever wagered – and he meant scientists of all stripes, ranging from Darwinian evolutionists to astronomers and physicists. He associated it with elan vital, a concept translated worldwide as “vital impulse.” This impulse, he argued, was interwoven throughout the universe giving life an unstoppable surge, ever productive of unexpected creations, and imperfectly grasped by science. (7) Einstein’s and Bergson’s contributions appeared to their contemporaries forcefully at odds, representing two competing strands of modern times. Vitalism was contrasted against mechanization, creation against ratiocination, and personality against uniformity. Bergson was associated with metaphysics, antirationalism, and the idea that life permeates everything. Einstein with their opposites, with physics, rationality, and the idea that the universe (and our knowledge of it) could stand just as well without us. (7)

The Genesis Vision > Historic Precedents

Feltz, Bernard, et al. Self-Organization and Emergence in the Life Sciences. Netherlands: Springer, 2006. This European edition from the mid 2000s is entered in 2018 to illustrate rudimentary inklings of dynamic complexities back then as this endeavor was just getting going by way of individual theories and patchy fragments. Scale-free networks are barely mentioned. We note Self-Organization in Immunology by Henri Atlan, Kant and Intuitions of Self-Organization by Gertrudis Van de Vijver, and Neural Synchrony and Cognitive Functions by Francisco Varela. But in little over a decade, this worldwide revolution has burgeoned to a mature point of critical credence and integral synthesis, as the rest of this site seeks to report and document.

The Genesis Vision > Current Vistas

Paulson, Steve, et al. A Touch of Awe: Crafting Meaning from the Wonder of the Cosmos. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Online August, 2018. In this transcript from the final conversation in the series The Will to Meaning: Seeking the Why of our Existence, as the Abstract says, with Paul Davies, Lucianne Walkowicz and Ard Louis. Each panelist has a philosophical interest, Davies with many books, Walkowicz as Library of Congress astrobiologist, and Louis from his Christian faith. As the second quote says, Davies voiced a strong rebuttal of Weinberg’s 1977 pointless verdict. By a simple shift in perception, our innate human abilities to altogether learn about a fertile evolutionary cosmos could be seen as strong evidence of an intrinsic purpose and destiny.

From the birth of galaxies to the self‐organizing dynamics of our planet to the ongoing expansion of the universe, the more we discover about the evolution of the cosmos, the more acutely we realize the enormity of what remains to be known. Just this year astrophysicists at the University of Nottingham confirmed that there are at least two trillion galaxies in the cosmos, 10 times more than had been previously thought. What guidance or wisdom can the study of cosmology and astrophysics offer us in our search for meaning and purpose? In conversation with Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, theoretical physicists Paul Davies and Ard Louis, and astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz share their perceptions based on years of gazing upward and beyond our own intimate planet. (Abstract)

Paulsen: There’s a famous quote from Steven Weinberg who said “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more is also seems pointless.” Would anyone want to agree with that? Davies: I think he got it exactly – wrong the more it seems pointleaa, the more it would be incomprehensible. The fact that it is comprehensible, to me, suggests that there is something like a point. Paulson: The point being that we can comprehend it is some way? Davies: That it’s not an incomprehensible scheme of things, that nature isn’t arbitrary or absurd. A classic example is the Higgs boson. The Large Hadron Collider wasn’t built on a whim. It was built based on a theoretical expectation dating from the 1960s, which was that there is a rational scheme of things at work in nature. One couldn’t be a scientist without, as an act of faith, believing tha the universe is ordered in a rational and intelligible way all the way down. (10)

A Planetary Prodigy: HumanKinder's Geonome Knowledge

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > An Anthropocosmic Code

FitzGerald, Garret, et al. The Future of Humans as Model Organisms. Science. 361/552, 2018. A seven person team from the USA and UK including David Botstein post a remarkable proposal that as comparative anatomy, physiology and genomic studies across all species find deep homologous similarities, we people ourselves could well serve as iconic entities. We thus locate these scientific advances in this section as a 21st century confirmation of the traditional wisdom that macrocosmic universe and microcosmic persons are very much mirror images of each other. In our temporal genesis, a corollary could well be, as long alluded to, parents and children – mother/father and son/daughter.

Indeed, over the past decade, we have deepened our understanding not only of how the genomic blueprint for human biology manifests physical and chemical characteristics (phenotype), but also of how traits can change in response to the environment. A better grasp of the dynamic relationship between genes and the environment may truly sharpen our ability to determine disease risk and response to therapy. A collection of human phenotypic data, and its integration with “omic” information (genomic, proteomic, transcriptomic, epigenomic, microbiomic, and metabolomic, among others), along with remote-sensing data, could provide extraordinary opportunities for discovery. (552)

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > An Anthropocosmic Code

Weiming, Tu. An “Anthropocosmic” Perspective on Creativity. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2/5, 2010. The Harvard University scholar (search) is a leading expositor of Confucian wisdom in the later 20th and early 21st centuries. In so doing, he has availed this once and future iconic image to represent the organic relation of divine heaven, home Earth, and our human abidance. By virtue of this familial unity, a valuable sense of reciprocal harmony and balance can guide our personal, social, and ecological lives. In this paper, a significant aspect is added whereof intelligent persons can also be appreciated as temporal co-creators going forward to a better future.

The Harvard University scholar (search) is a leading expositor of Confucian wisdom in the later 20th and early 21st centuries. In so doing, he has availed this once and future iconic image to represent the organic relation of divine heaven, home Earth, and our human abidance. By virtue of this familial unity, a valuable sense of reciprocal harmony and balance can guide our personal, social, and ecological lives. In this paper, a significant aspect is added whereof intelligent persons can also be appreciated as temporal co-creators going forward to a better future.

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > World Philosophy

Nolan, Daniel. Cosmic Loops. Bliss, Ricki and Graham Priest, eds. Reality and its Structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Yes, we do peruse editions as this, whose subtitle is Essays in Fundamentality. We note this chapter by a Notre Dame philosopher as an example of our 21st century collective human abilities to take in and survey a whole temporal trajectory from origin to finis. Whomever then are we altogether to appear as a phenomenal way that an entire evolutionary universe may come to its own internal description and cognizant witness? But our humankind observance is never factored into the overall scheme. A vested, male, academia remains unable to ask whether this scenario that valiant people arise might have a preordained existence, identity and intent of its own.

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > World Philosophy

Salthe, Salthe. Perspectives on Natural Philosophy. Philosophies. 3/3, 2018. As a contribution to a special Contemporary Natural Philosophy issue, the emeritus octogenarian Brooklyn College and Binghamton University biologist and commentator (search) offers a capsule of his deeply wise vision of a developmental ascendant scale from physical energies to aware entities. The issue was proposed by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic and Marcin Schroeder in early 2018 and closed for entries on August 31. But a sign of our daunting conceptual lapse could be that Stan Salthe’s paper was the only entry.

This paper presents a viewpoint on natural philosophy focusing on the organization of substance, as well as its changes as invited by the Second Law of thermodynamics. Modes of change are pointed to as definitive of levels of organization; these include physical, chemical, and biological modes of change. Conceptual uses of the subsumptive hierarchy format are employed throughout this paper. Developmental change in dissipative structures is examined in some detail, generating an argument for the use of final causality in studies of natural systems. Considerations of ‘internalism’ in science are presented along the way. (Abstract)

A Learning Planet > The Spiral of Science > deep

Ching, Travers, et al. Opportunities and Obstacles for Deep Learning in Biology and Medicine. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Vol. 14/Iss. 141, 2018. Some 40 researchers from institutes, laboratories and hospitals in the USA, Canada and the UK well survey current applications, potentials, and problems for this cerebral-based AI revolution. Or as Siddhartha Muckerjee, MD wrote in the New Yorker last year: “the algorithm will see you now.”

Some 40 researchers from institutes, laboratories and hospitals in the USA, Canada and the UK well survey current applications, potentials, and problems for this cerebral-based AI revolution. Or as Siddhartha Muckerjee, MD wrote in the New Yorker last year: “the algorithm will see you now.”

A Learning Planet > The Spiral of Science > deep

Dunjko, Vedran and Hans Briegel. Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence in the Quantum Domain. Reports on Progress in Physics. 81/7, 2018. University of Innsbruck physicists scope out how these dual approaches may cross-inform and merge so as to be fruitfully applied to this deepest frontier. See also, for example, Quantum Neural Network States by Zhih-Ahn Jia, et al atarXiv:1808.10601.

Quantum information technologies and intelligent learning systems are both emergent technologies that are likely to have a transformative impact on our society. In a growing body of recent work, researchers have been probing the question of the extent to which these fields can indeed learn and benefit from each other. Quantum ML explores the interaction between quantum computing and ML, investigating how results and techniques from one field can be used to solve the problems of the other. Beyond the topics of mutual enhancement—exploring what ML/AI can do for quantum physics and vice versa—researchers have also broached the fundamental issue of quantum generalizations of learning and AI concepts. This deals with questions of the very meaning of learning and intelligence in a world that is fully described by quantum mechanics. (Abstract excerpts)

A Learning Planet > The Spiral of Science > deep

Gencaga, Deniz. Information-Theoretic Approaches in Deep Learning. Entropy. August, 2018. An Antalya Bilim University, Turkey informatics engineer proposes a special issue with this title. It has a June 30, 2019 closing date for submissions.

Deep Learning (DL) has revolutionized machine learning, especially in the last decade. As a benefit of this unprecedented development, we are capable of working with very large Neural Networks (NNs), composed of multiple layers (Deep Neural Networks), in many applications, such as object recognition-detection, speech recognition and natural language processing. Although many Convolutive Neural Network (CNN) and Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) based algorithms have been proposed, a comprehensive theoretical understanding of DNNs remains a major research area. In this Special Issue, we would like to collect papers focusing on both the theory and applications of information-theoretic approaches, such as Mutual Information. The application areas are diverse and include object tracking/detection, speech recognition, natural language processing, neuroscience, bioinformatics, engineering, finance, astronomy, and Earth and space sciences.

A Learning Planet > The Spiral of Science > deep

Mathuriya, Amrita, et al. CosmoFlow: Using Deep Learning to Learn the Universe at Scale. arXiv:1808.04728. As the brain-based AI revolution proceeds, seventeen authors from Intel, LBNL, Cray and UC Berkeley scope out their neural network applications, as being done everywhere else, across the celestial raiment. Indeed, as this realm becomes similarly amenable, one might get the impression that the whole cosmos is somehow cerebral, or genomic in nature.

Deep learning is a promising tool to determine the physical model that describes our universe. To handle the considerable computational cost of this problem, we present CosmoFlow: a highly scalable deep learning application built on top of the TensorFlow framework. CosmoFlow uses efficient implementations of 3D convolution and pooling primitives, together with improvements in threading for many element-wise operations, to improve training performance on Intel(C) Xeon Phi(TM) processors. We also utilize the Cray PE Machine Learning Plugin for efficient scaling to multiple nodes. To our knowledge, this is the first large-scale science application of the TensorFlow framework at supercomputer scale with fully-synchronous training. (Abstract)

Deep Learning for Cosmology: The nature of dark energy is one of the most exciting and fundamental questions facing scientists today. Dark energy is the unknown force that is driving the accelerated expansion of the universe, and is the subject of several current and future experiments that will survey the sky in multiple wavelengths. We cannot measure dark energy directly - we can only observe the effect it has on the observable universe. The interplay of gravity (pulling matter together) and dark energy (expanding space itself) is encoded in the distribution of matter in the universe today. Cosmologists typically characterize this distribution using statistical measures of the structure of matter – its “clumpiness” - in the form of two- or three-point correlation functions or other reduced statistics. Methods that capture all features in the distribution of matter (such as deep learning networks) could give greater insight into the nature of dark energy. (1)

A Learning Planet > The Spiral of Science > deep

Yound, Tom, et al. Recent Trends in Deep Learning Based Natural language Processing. IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine. 13/3, 2918. Beijing Institute of Technology and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore computer scientists present a review tutorial about the state of the fruitful avail of neural net methods to parse linguistic textual writings. An affinity between recurrent networks and recursive script and also speech appears to be innately evident. Another commonality is that both cerebral and corpora modes are involved with prior memories of information and knowledge. See also Identifying DNA Methylation Modules Associated with Cancer by Probabilistic Evolutionary Learning in this issue, and earlier A Primer on Neural Network Models for Natural Language Processing by Yoav Goldberg, Yoav in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (57/345, 2016).

Deep learning methods employ multiple processing layers to learn hierarchical representations of data, and have produced state-of-the-art results in many domains. Recently, a variety of model designs and methods have blossomed in the context of natural language processing (NLP). In this paper, we review significant deep learning related models and methods that have been employed for numerous NLP tasks and provide a walk-through of their evolution. We also summarize, compare and contrast the various models and put forward a detailed understanding of the past, present and future of deep learning in NLP. (Abstract)

A Learning Planet > Mindkind Knowledge > News

Information and Noise: Chemistry, Biology and Evolution Creating Complex Systems. www.beilstein-institut.de/files/abstractbook_beilstein_bozen_symposium_2018_download.pdf. This is an international June 2018 symposium held in Rudesheim, Germany sponsored by the Beilstein Institut, see quotes below. This URL reaches the conference book along with extensive abstracts. Leroy Cronin and Tim Clark were the main organizers. A diverse array of senior speakers included Antoine Danchin (Information/Matter Interplay Conceals Life’s Universal Laws), Susan Stepney, Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo (Information as a Principle of Organization for Biology), Ulrich Kutschera, Thomas Ouldridge, Irene Chen and David Wolpert.


When do chemical systems become biological ones? What needs to happen for molecules
behaving stochastically to join in networks and cooperate to produce non-random or directed chemical pathways? Biological systems consist of networks of interacting molecules over a large number of time and length scales, and with error tolerance: The larger and more organized the molecules, the more they behave cooperatively. Indeed, before the first genetically regulated ones, such systems had to self-encode into a replicating system. What mechanism led to self-encoding chemistry and was this the seed for biological evolution? (Synopsis)

Biology is often perceived as a collection of weird anecdotes. Attempts to find specific laws that would place life within the realm of physics often fail because investigators see the forest for the trees. Starting from the conjecture that cells are computers making computers we will explore the physico-chemical nature of the "vital force" that has long been the cause of animism or vitalism. This will ask us to strip biological descriptions from their details to clarify the underlying laws that make cells alive. Highlighting the information of the machine (as opposed to information of the genetic program), we will focus on the role of compartmentalisation and polymerization associated to the ubiquitous presence of water in shaping what life is. (Antoine Danchin)

Living phenomena involve both (i) individual systems carrying out very robust self-(re-)producing dynamics in far from equilibrium conditions (cellular-metabolic ontogenies) and, at a completely different time scale, (ii) populations of those systems undergoing an open-ended process of diversification (eco-evolutionary phylogenies). Without a deep theoretical re-assessment and re-elaboration of the notion of information, specifically tailored for biology, there will be no chance for us to understand how this high ‘squared complexity’ (physiological and evolutionary) came about during biogenesis and made life, globally speaking, a long-term-sustainable phenomenon on the surface of our planet. (Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo)

The non-profit Beilstein-Institut is one of the most respected organizations in the communication and dissemination of high-quality information in chemistry. Since 1951, when the foundation was established by the Max Planck Society, we have been fulfilling our mission to support the scientific community by providing high-quality information that is essential for research. Our role has evolved over the years: from the production of the Beilstein Handbook and Database, to being one of the first open access journal publishers in chemistry, to host of interdisciplinary symposia and supporter of open data initiatives. We believe that free access to scientific research results, giving everyone in the world an equal chance to read and reuse experimental findings and data, is the best way to advance science.

A Learning Planet > Mindkind Knowledge > News

Schrodinger at 75 – The Future of Biology. www.tcd.ie/biosciences/whatislife. A September 2018 conference on the occasion of the Austrian-Irish Nobel physicist’s 1943 epic book What Is Life?. It is sponsored by Trinity College Dublin and held in the National Concert Hall. As Philip Ball cites in a retro-review in Nature (560/548, 2018), the work was a prescient “code-script” proposal (akin to Alan Turing) which initiated a long transition from physics and biogenetics being worlds apart to their current, active 2010s (re)unification. A stellar array of speakers includes Danielle Bassett, Leroy Hood, Christof Koch, Michael Gazzaniga, Linda Partridge, Nick Lane, and Svante Paabo.

An Organic, Genomic, Conducive UniVerse

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology

Ball, Philip. Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics Is Different. London: Bodley Head, 2018. The prolific British science writer and natural philosopher achieves an accessible, inclusive survey of this fundamental field from 20th century aspects to its latest frontiers. But the title is misleading, for it is not another book about how daunting it is. The work carefully covers decoherence, superposition, complementarity, entanglement, measurement, non-locality, many-worlds and more, which have led to an arcane, unintelligible sense. But the closing pages in turn proceed to offer, by our worldwide compass, a novel distillation and resolve. As other sections in Part III report, into the 21st century theorists came to realize that this deepest phase is distinguished by an information content and conveyance.

As a result, a synthesis of John Archibald Wheeler, Jeffrey Bub, Christopher Fuchs and others is accrues as a glimpse of a phenomenally vibrant cosmos which includes and is sensitive to human observations. A participatory universe to human evolutionary course thus becomes evident via an informational, programmic arc and passage of “Bit to It.” An allusion is that we peoples are now “It.” By way of quantum Bayesism views, our personal, aware interactions, as they seek iteratively better probabilities, in some way seems to affect, help choose, and may channel its course. But we note that the index still contains 108 male names, sans any women. The abstract inquiry that remains has not figured it out, or translated into an explanation, but a take home may be that we peoples indeed have a central place and purpose.

Quantum physics is regarded as one of the most obscure and impenetrable subjects in all of science. Over the past decade or so, the enigma of quantum mechanics has come into sharper focus. We now realize that it is less about particles and waves, uncertainty and fuzziness, than a theory about information: about what can be known and how. This is more disturbing than our bad habit of describing the quantum world as ‘things behaving weirdly’ suggests. It calls into question the meanings and limits of space and time, cause and effect, and knowledge itself. The quantum world isn’t a different world: it is our world, and if anything deserves to be called ‘weird’, it’s us. This exhilarating book is about what quantum maths really means – and what it doesn’t mean. (Publisher)

Increasingly, it looks more logical to frame quantum mechanics as a set of rules about information: what is and isn’t permissible when it comes to sharing, copying, transmitting and reading it. What distinguishes the quantum world of entanglement and non-locality from the everyday world where such things can’t be found is a kind of information-sharing between quantum systems that allows us to find out about one of them by looking at the other. (308) Again, all this fits with a growing conviction that quantum mechanics is at root a theory not of tiny particles and waves but of information and its causal influence. It’s a theory of how much we can deduce about the world by looking at it, and how that depends on intimate, invisible connections between here and there. (319)

This is what the quantum interpretation called QBism (see III.C.1) is really about , and it is why we would be wrong to regard it as some kind of solipsistic idea that ‘it’s all about us,’ or rhat ‘reality is an illusion.’ QBism is, rather, an expression of what (John A.) Wheeler called the ‘participatory universe,’ in which we play a role in the reality that we experience, without claiming that this is the whole story. (349)

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