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"Now comes a real problem. We are explaining that we never expect to get a microscopic configuration that will lead all the gas to the left of the box. But we started from such a configuration. How did we get there in the first place? The real problem is not to explain why one goes to equilibrium, but why there are systems out of equilibrium to start with. For the gas, obviously the system was not isolated: an experimentalist pushed the piston. But why was there an experimentalist? Human beings are also systems out of equilibrium, and they remain so (for some time) thanks to the food they eat, which itself depends on the sun, through the plants and their photosynthesis. Of course, in order to be able to take advantage of their food, humans also need their genetic program, which itself results from the long history of natural selection.
"If foraminifera are attached to algae or other substrate, one side will resemble the substrate, as seen in the bottom view of Planorbulina in fig. 16." (pp. 19-20)
@Soupie, do you think the attraction to symmetry originates in the neurons (or the brain) or in the world? As I see it, of course, the brain works to organize impressions and perceptions of that which is encountered in the world by protoconscious and conscious living beings.Ker Than, Symmetry in Nature: Fundamental Fact or Human Bias?
Symmetry in Nature: Fundamental Fact or Human Bias?
". . . Mario Livio, a senior astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, wonders if our biological preference for symmetry is biasing our perception of the world, influencing what humans find beautiful or even affecting the way we conduct science.
Livio is the author of The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved (2005, Simon & Schuster Trade), a book that explores symmetry in everything from biology and physics to music and the visual arts.
"Because our brains are so fine tuned to detect symmetry, is it possible that both the tools that we use to determine the laws of nature and indeed our theories themselves have symmetry in them partly because our brains like to latch onto the symmetric part of the universe and not because it's the most fundamental thing?" Livio wonders. . . ."
I'm not sure I understand your question re the origin of the attraction to symmetry. A just so story might be that perceived symmetries are probably related/synonymous to adaptive patterns in the environment, thus organisms are attracted to them.@Soupie, do you think the attraction to symmetry originates in the neurons (or the brain) or in the world? As I see it, of course, the brain works to organize impressions and perceptions of that which is encountered in the world by protoconscious and conscious living beings.
I've discovered a long-developed blog titled "Neurosceptic" (now included within the Discovery site) and finding there numerous articles that I think we might all be of interest to those following this thread. Here are two:
After 15 Years in a Vegetative State, Scientists Partly Restore Consciousness in Patient
By Carl Engelking | September 25, 2017
After 15 Years in a Vegetative State, Scientists Partly Restore Consciousness in Patient - D-brief
The Remarkable “Curvature Blindness” Illusion
By Neuroskeptic | December 8, 2017
The Remarkable "Curvature Blindness" Illusion - Neuroskeptic
Ramifying comment to the latter:
Orlin Pettit > Jan-Erik Vinje • 18 days ago: "I remember seeing a photograph of a street scene several weeks ago from near the equator where twice a year the Sun is directly overhead at noon.. and it's looks very peculiar. Estimating distance and the actual size of objects is not easy as there are no shadows."
[edited] To me that experience bears out the phenomenological recognition that whatever appears to living animals appears by virtue of the light and shadow within which they/we are able to discern things and gestalts in the world, and the continual changing of the available light in which the world appears is the veritable sense of the temporality within which we and the world exist. The mobility of animals is the means by which the embodied senses of the environing world's 'depth' first arise prereflectively -- in moving, and observing motion, within three spatial dimensions and the dimension of time as temporality. Thus what we can think [mind] is constructed out of that which we experience in prereflective consciousness of being-in-the-world. I'm interested in any responses to this paragraph.
Thanks @Pharoah. While you're here would you look over my post #17 above and my unclearly posed question to @Soupie following it and give us your thoughts on this question of symmetry in nature and how it affects our, and likely other species', behavior? I was about to do a search on Mario Livio's speculations, cited in the LiveScience article I cited in post 17 and will follow through with that tonight.