Re: Implications of MWI

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 16:23:03 +1000

John Mikes wrote:

>I don't think I really can expect a reply to this question: I am in the
>boat of reductionist thinking, just dream about more.

John, this is the second time you have mentioned reductionist thinking ijn
the last few days. Could you briefly explain what reductionism is and why
you don't like it? For example, a hydrogen atom is made up of an electron
and a proton, but its behaviour is very different to that of an electron or
a proton on its own. Is it reductionist to say that a hydrogen atom is just
made up of these two subatomic particles? Similarly, a human being is made
up of electrons, protons and neutrons, but its behaviour is very different
to what one might guess from knowing the intricate details of particle
physics. You can say that the hydrogen atom and the human being (and for
that matter, just about everything else in the universe) show surprising
behaviours, or emergent behaviours, and I would agree with you. You can also
say that there are aspects of very complex systems, like a human being or
the universe as a whole, which science is incapable of explaining at our
current level of understanding, and I would agree with you again. But how
does this negate the essential point that everything is made up of its
constituent parts, however complex the configuration of and interaction
between those constituent parts may be?

--Stathis Papaioannou

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Received on Fri Apr 29 2005 - 02:26:10 PDT

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