Thursday, July 05, 2007

Convergence

Re my recent departure from Telic Thoughts; I somewhat regret it because there were occasional glimmers of a synthesis emerging from the flames. Stunney (my main interlocuter) viewed God as "transcendent reason". I thought this was an interesting if flawed idea, meaning that while transcendent reason might exist in some way (in the same way mathematical objects have a transcendent, Platonic existence), it didn't have any of the anthropomorphic attributes people hang off of God -- getting angry at people having unconventional sex lives, for instance. Nonetheless I was open to a sort of convergence argument.

Let's say there is a transcendent form of reason. Let's also say that blind, grunting, material evolution somehow drives matter to achieve an imperfect approximation of this perfect rationality. This "somehow" has the nature of a convergent solution, in that while there are is a huge infinity of possible forms, there are relatively few mathematically coherent forms. Seemingly random processes converge on these coherent forms, resulting in all the patterns, life, truth, and beauty we see in the universe.

We see convergence in attempts to generate new systems of mathematics (turns out you can't design a version of the integers with three different signs, and we presume that aliens will understand the Pythagorean theorem), and convergent evolution (eyes were independently "invented" many times). So, maybe evolution converges to rational minds, and maybe the endpoint of convergence has some theological qualities. Maybe.

I wish Telic Thoughts was a good place to explore this quarter-baked conception, but the discourse there inevitably devolves into flaming. I'll give Uncle Aleistair the last word on this:


"It must have a 'natural' cause."
"It must have a 'supernatural' cause."
Let these two asses be set to grind corn.
Frater Perdurabo, O.T.O., "Chinese Music," The Book of Lies

No comments: