In fact I met Stuart Kauffman, brilliant and a bit loud, followed his talks for several weeks and had good discussions with him in the framework of the International Statistical Ecology Programme I had been invited to in Berkely in 1978 :)
I know and like some of his work , but I disagree strongly on other points
Indeed the so called science of complexity is full of bluffs and ambiguities about what it is actually doing, beyond using simple deterministic equations to simulate complex behavior, useful, but as Rene Thom pointed out long ago, it does not mean yo understand much or that any complex behavior has a simple deterministic difference equation behind it.
Concerning what I say about continuity with the organic and the rest it has nothing to do with sacrality, its simple physics, there is no interruption historically or now, we come from and are made of material stuff, the scarality comes in when we want to add, in arrogance, denial, or just fantasy a metaphysical icing to what is observable and indisputable, I am really not quite interested in the individual or collective construction of sacred objects, or qualifiers. Tthere is an interesting bibliography though on the invention of the scared as in John Kieschnick 2003 The impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture, Princeton U P, or the classic and beautiful book by Theophrastus redivirus (pseudonym probably around 1600) "Histoire de ce qui a été dit sur les dieux, le monde, la religion,l'âme, les enfers et les demons, le mepris de la mort, la vie selon la nature" of which volume 6 "la vie selon la nature" is published with extensive
notes in (La Pleiade, 2004 Libertins du 17eme siecle, vol 2 pp 219-343) the text takes good care of the classical arguments for need or justification of sacralizing man. Or more recently Michel Bakounine 1882 Dieu et L'Etat (Paris, Mille une nuits 2000) who also has an interesting take on who needs the sacred for what
On the contrary, the continuity argument is to say we are not any more special than any other special form of life, but then indeed you can go the opposite sense as seems to be the trend now and instead of debunking sacrocrap , scaralize "nature" to compensate for the absurd results of the sacralization of man not by undoing it but by entering a scaralizing arms race, which is what SK and others seem to be up to.
The last para you quote from SK is full of "I believe" "I sense" which are legitimate enough forms of fantasy but are not facts, I am talking about facts observable in the material world, eventually negated by fantasies as in Galileo or in opposition to reproductive health for women today which argues its repression and oppression of women by fantasizing metaphysical autonomy of fertilized eggs but negates it to the woman where the egg is. This strange, sacred "nature" is in line with the (male) bishop and not with the freedom of women to decide about themselves
will try to find time to read more in detail some of the refs you include
--- On Wed, 12/1/10, roger malina <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> From: roger malina <email@example.com>
> Subject: [Yasmin_discussions] Science, Technology, Art, POETRY
> To: "YASMIN DISCUSSIONS" <Yasmin_discussions@estia.media.uoa.gr>
> Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 12:33 PM
> Your comments about "poesis' , and taking a macro view of
> meaning of poesis, and in particular the connections to the
> organic world
> of course connects to many streams of though
> a) Stuart Kauffman, in his book " re inventing the sacred"
> argues that indeed the science of complexity carries with
> an impulse that leads to the generation of life through
> a natural process of evolution, he associates this
> with a new form of sacrality
> the book is at:
> his web site is at
> there is a good video from him at:
> b) and of course the work on autopoesis of Varella,
> Maturana etc
> there is a good web site at:
> Kauffman takes the argument further with his idea that:
> we are "mind-brain-body systems that are trans-Turing
> quantum, poised realm,
> classical systems of unknown richness"
> c) The whole stream of ideas around biomorphism, not only
> but also the german bioromantika of Erno Kallai etc ( if
> you remember
> Kepes also inherited this line of thought, leading to his
> "New Landscape
> in Art and Science". )There is a phd thesis bv Grant Taylor
> "the machine
> that made science art"
> with a chapter than explicits the lineage
> Perhaps a related point that I would make, is that one
> often reads that
> scientific understanding somehow destroys the joy / mystery
> of the universe-
> I am sure you would strongly dispute this as does Kaufman
> in his
> recent blog on science
> and poetry
> here is his rebuttal to "cold science" destroying the
> wonder of the world:
> We are not Algorithmic:
> Back to poetry. Newton's determinism and the
> determinism of
> algorithms are deeply related.
> The AI view is latter day Newton plus Turing. No need for
> the metaphor
> richness and allusions
> of poetry. Just use your algorithmic mind to compute.
> But if we are not algorithmic, if the Poised Realm is part
> quantum system with its new physics,
> if life lives partly in the Poised Realm as I increasingly
> believe it
> does, then our mind-brain-body
> systems are trans-Turing quantum, poised realm, classical
> systems of
> unknown richness. Far off,
> or not so far off, I sense, we will begin to understand
> meaning and
> language enabled by such systems
> that solve their own framing problems, and are enabled by
> metaphors of poetry, art, dance, plays,
> novels, and music.
> from kauffman
> Yasmin_discussions mailing list
> Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
> HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to
> subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"),
> enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found
> further down the page.
> HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way
> down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter
> password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the
> page that will appear ("options page").
> HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page,
> find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or
Yasmin_discussions mailing list
Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.