Why is process-based analysis more appropriate for living systems than traditional object-based analysis? What are the logical foundations of process analysis? What are the key differences between the processes of matter, life, and consciousness? Why are the mathematical processes of BD ideally suited for the study of the processes of living systems and consciousness? Article Summary
Traditional Western science is based upon the interaction between objects and the innate forces of nature. Scientists have accurately identified the mechanisms that influence the behavior of matter in a regular predictable fashion. This is true of the micro level of atoms with their electrons and protons, as well as the macro level of planets, stars, and galaxies, and all the interactions between inanimate matter and natural forces in between these two extremes.
The study of the interaction between objects has been fruitful beyond imagining. But the world is made up of more than inanimate things. It is made up of living organisms involved in process. Behavior – biological, human and animal – has a dynamic nature, which is not adequately described by Newtonian physics. There are other mechanisms besides those of matter – gravity, magnetism, etc. – that operate upon human behavior. And these have to do with process based in continual feedback – the ongoing relation between organism and environment. Incorporated but not encapsulated by Newtonian physics, living systems require a process-based explanation.
Information Dynamics is an attempt to provide that explanation. As such it is based upon mathematical processes applied to living systems. Process, according to Webster, is defined as “any phenomenon which shows a continuous change in time: as, the process of growth.” Living systems are continually involved in process due to the ongoing dynamic relationship between organism and environment. The mathematical processes mimic and even reflect the continual feedback loop between living systems and their world as they move through time. Instead of focusing upon the mass, direction, location, and speed of an object (summed up frequently by initial conditions combined with the appropriate equation) the primary focus of BD is the characteristics of the process and the related task of accurately identifying which objects participate in the process. This has only an oblique relation to the features of the object.
To dispel any confusion the following discussion is an attempt to lay some logical foundations for this process-based approach to analysis – noting points of congruence and points of departure from matter science.
At the heart of Science is the deductive syllogism. Here is a classic statement of this type.
Restated if Socrates belongs to the set of Men, and one of the Attributes of the set of Men is that they are mortal, then it follows logically that Socrates is also mortal. In meta-terms:
This is entirely different from the following logical statement – another syllogism.
Obviously false. Just because men and grass share the same attribute of death doesn’t mean that they are equivalent. In general terms: two different sets don’t necessarily have equivalent properties just because they share the same attribute. This is called the Barbara Syllogism – the basis of Correspondence logic. Scientists often rightfully criticize astrology and other pseudo sciences for participating in this fallacious form of reasoning.
Here is the general statement of the fallacious Correspondence Syllogism.
Note that the third statement is a fallacious conclusion.
The following logical statement is similar to, yet entirely different from, the preceding logic, as the conclusion is necessarily true, not indeterminate.
In general if two sets both participate in the same process then they also participate in the attributes of this process.
This leads to the defining syllogism of process-based science upon which the Dynamics of Behavior is founded.
As a specific example:
The logic is impeccable in the above examples. However, at this point, the assumption that Sports, Artistic Sessions, et al, are subsets of the process set defined by the Creative Pulse is merely an assertion. This is why these statement are framed as conditional syllogisms (based on an if-then statement.) Although there are logical reasons behind these (my) assertions combined with widespread observational data, real scientists have neither generated nor compiled any hard empirical evidence. Until this is so BD remains a proto science. However this in no way taints the logic behind BD.
Although the process-based syllogism is different in crucial ways from the classic syllogism of traditional object-based science, the syllogistic reasoning behind process sets is true all the time. There is no necessity for experimental verification. If someone, anyone, is involved in the process of riding a bike, they are also involved in balancing – an inherent feature of bicycling. Anyone that participates in the process of sustenance also participates in ingestion, digestion, and elimination – essential features of the process. The syllogistic reasoning applies to both process-based and object-based systems. The statements are true in all times and places. The primary differences between process sets and object sets – have to do with the differences between processes and objects. The deductive syllogism, which holds true for both object and process sets, holds that Particular Members T of Set S will have the same general features as Set S. Similar, but fallacious, is the Correspondence syllogism, which assumes set equivalence due to feature equivalence. This is indeterminate. This relation is shown in the following chart.
This Writer has implied and now explicitly suggests that object analysis is most appropriately applied to Matter. This is due to inorganic matter’s unthinking obedience, and thereby predictable, response to the innate laws of nature. Conversely, process analysis is more appropriately applied to Life. This is due to organic matter's spontaneous interactive response to environmental stimuli – particulate and mechanical Matter vs. connective and holisitic Life. The complexity of the response of living systems to external stimuli due to the ongoing feedback between organism and environment challenges the methodology of traditional science. However, due to the exceptional success of the object based approach to matter, scientists have attempted to apply this model to human behavior. Although successful in certain instances, this traditional approach, as summed up in Brain Rules, has missed, or ignored, entire swatches of the human experience – especially those associated with Creative Inspiration. BD is a modest attempt to fill this void.
In summary, the syllogistic logic of object and process analysis is equally valid. In the first, processes are features of objects; while in the second, objects are features of processes. The first features object sets, while the second features process sets. Object sets tend to be static, while process sets tend to be dynamic (as they are in a constant state of change). The basic syllogism of object sets is that the features of the general set apply equally to the particular objects in the set. The basic syllogism of process sets is that the features of the general process apply equally to the particular processes that make up the set. In both cases, the equivalency of features has no relation to set equivalency. The features of object sets are permanent while the features of process sets are transitory. As such, automatic formulas are an important feature of object analysis, while automatic mechanisms are an important feature of process analysis. BD is an attempt to understand and identify the features of these automatic mechanisms that influence Life’s processes.
In the attempt to illustrate the differences between process and object analysis we have perhaps over-emphasized the linkage between life and process. Matter goes through process, as regularly as does life. For instance matter goes through the process of erosion. And, of course, Life obeys the laws of the material universe. For example, Life must obey the law of gravity. However, there is a basic difference between Life and Matter, a layer of complexity that only applies to living systems. Of necessity, Life must constantly regenerate itself, else perish, while the inanimate world is not subject to any similar rules.
Fixed equations combined with appropriate initial conditions can automatically delineate the precise behavior and processes of matter to the desired level of accuracy – consider our ability to put a rocket ship on the moon. These same equations and initial conditions are helpless before the regenerative processes of life. The constant give and take between organism and environment – both influencing and being influenced by the surrounding world in a continual feedback loop – exceeds the explanatory capacity of fixed equations. The mathematical context is constantly changing due to the continuous feedback between organism and environment that is essential for regeneration. As such, no content-based equation with set initial conditions will suffice to describe this feature of life.
In contrast Fractal Regeneration, the mathematics of BD, is specifically tailored to deal with this process that is unique to Life. A simple, perhaps the simplest, formula for articulating regeneration is the Cell Function. This mathematical data processor contains and identifies the essential elements of the process. Fractal regeneration, the mathematics of BD, is built upon this basic equation. Accordingly BD contains the tools best suited for the study of regeneration.
Another layer of complexity is added when consciousness is considered. Not only is the organism interacting with the environment for regeneration, it is now interacting with itself, presumably making decisions to facilitate regeneration. One characteristic feature of consciousness is the ability to sustain attention. The Creative Pulse, an extension of fractal regeneration, is uniquely suited to describe and delineate this process.
This investigation has ranged in terms of increasing complexity – from the static equations of Matter – to the regenerative equations of Life – and ultimately to the mathematical models of the Creative Pulse that describe the sustained attention of Consciousness. These are all members of the same family – each equally essential for the description of human behavior. We are matter; we are alive; and we are capable of sustained conscious attention. The following table summarizes these distinctions.
The Creative Pulse
In summary, Newtonian dynamics is the perfect tool for describing the automatic processes of matter. Although Living Systems have a material component, which is, of course, ruled by the fixed rules of matter, they also have a context-based regenerative component, an added layer of complexity. While Newtonian mechanics is inadequate as an explanatory tool, the mathematics of Fractal Regeneration is specifically designed to study this feature of Life. Humans and other complex forms of life also have Consciousness, an even deeper layer of complexity. This ability of Consciousness to sustain attention on particular elements of the external environment, a unique feature of advanced life forms, is best described by the Creative Pulse Theory. The Creative Pulse is an extension of Fractal Regeneration, the mathematics of Regenerative Information Dynamics, RBD, the science best suited for the study these features of living systems.
Check out “Data Stream Momentum” for an understanding of some of the innate processes of Fractal Regeneration. To explore the processes of Sustained Attention refer to “The Creative Pulse” & “CP Applications”. To discover the material component to this whole mess check out Newton’s extensions in the world of modern science.
As a contrast to the identical logic that underlies both Matter Science and Process Science read about “The Religion of Scientism” – the pseudo science that disguises itself as a science by wrapping itself in unproved correspondences between Matter and Life. Or check out “The Emergence of Scientism” to see how this ideology arose – the history of the shifting paradigm of the correspondence between Matter & Life.
 It doesn’t necessarily follow that two people have the same personality traits just because they are both born in the Sign of Pisces – a classic conclusion of the correspondence syllogism.
 Each new member of the data stream is easily calculated only employing a scaling element, a regular input, a measure of central tendency, and the basic operations of division and subtraction.
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