Stuart Kauffman is an ex-physician, expert in developmental genetics, founder of the BiosGroup in Santa Fe,and also highly respected for his work on complex systems. The book by this highly respected thinker of our times offers some insightful perspectives on the physical world. The classical and still current paradigm of science is that the “universe and all in it are governed by natural laws.” Kauffman describes this as the Galilean spell, and like Daniel Dennett who has called for a similar action with respect to religion, he wants to break this spell. He transforms the glaring unpredictability in many aspects of the physical world into an essential (hitherto only rarely recognized) feature. He calls this creativity. [In my writings I have used the term hypercomplexity for this.] The central thesis of the book is that “God as the creativity in the universe can … offer us a view in which the sacred and the moral remain utterly valid.” But then, the sacred and the moral are only a subset of creativity. Indeed, it would be equally valid to say that devil as creativity in the universe can offer us a view in which the profane and the immoral are also manifestations of the same creativity.
June 15, 2008