“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Against Complexity

This post is just the ticket, from the blog Being Sufficiently (hat tip Graham). It's about time Darwinism started standing up to the teleology implicit in complexity theory. In no sense is it the case that evolution is teleological. Most lifeforms are no more or less complicated than bacteria. And we share more in common with bacteria, by the way, than we do with slime molds (see below).

And yes—complexity theory with its “emergence” is complicit with libertarianism.


John B-R said...

You write: "And yes—complexity theory with its “emergence” is complicit with libertarianism." I'd I'd like to note an example: Kauffman's libertarianism is a very neoliberal free market libertarianism. It's no coincidence that he owns lots of patents, I would think.

peter said...

Hi Tim
Thanks for the kind words and glad you liked the post. I have recently been getting to grips with some of your ideas. I would love a copy of your book and the essay sounds incredibly useful too. I also have some questions about the article you wrote for Collapse VI, especially around nihilisma and romanticism. My email is ajgillett1@hotmail.com - hope to here from you soon