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Evolving Systems Course: PGnotes6

Paul Grobstein's picture

Making sense of ourselves in an evolving universe

Paul's notes - Session 6


Course subject: evolution (physical, biological, cultural, individual)

Course method: co-evolution, co-constructive inquiry, evolving by telling/hearing each other's stories, using them to create new ones, individually and collectively = co-constructive dialogue

Course arrangements:

  • By Monday evening, post in forum your thoughts from this week's conversations
  • By 6 pm Wednesday, write and email me a 3 page paper in which you you reconceive or reconsider your thinking about creation in light of our discussions this week of scientific stories of biological evolution, and last week of the  the evolution of the universe, and the earth.  Why are things the way they are? 
  • Individual meetings
  • Thursdays Group A Group B
    9 am   Genesis
    9:30 Elisa Julie
    2:30 Ilana Christine
    3:00 Angela Eva
    3:30 Hillary Aijingwen
    4:00   Valentina
    4:30 Mattie Kayla
    5:00 Carolina Jordan


Last week's stories (mind ...

And this week's (more mind

A scientific story?  A good story?

  • makes sense of diversity, and lots of other things, in terms of events in past
  • a "narrative story," what is now is accounted for by what has been in past (similar to history, to psychology, to ... ?)
  • contrast to earlier (and to some degree persisting), non-narrative stories
  • predicts things will be different in the future, ongoing change
  • what doesn't it account for? 

Why does change occur over time? 

  • in biological evolution?
  • in the story of the universe?  of earth? in stories themselves (including scientific ones)?  in ... ?

"Before us there was nothing ... There was only space and time.  Space and time grew tired of being alone ... They wanted warmth and feeling.  The yearning ... created an idea.  With the presence of an idea, many things began to come about ..."

"The thing was born with an insatiable need to appreciate and care, and be appreciated and cared for ... It found the center of the fabric and started to sew, sew, sew"

"Darkness would enrage herself with evil ... the twins clashed against their angry mother ... The planets and stars began to roam all throughout the outskirts of space ..." 

"In the very beginning ... a thought was floating in the universe in the form of a sound ... Booming sound with no boundaries and no rhythm attracts the strangest of combinations ... These combinations ... have the potential to create really magical conceptions."

"It was the shape that was imperative ... Art was vying for swirls.  Religion wanted symbols, as usual; Music (who had been on Science's side with the whole number business) couldn't see why they all had to be the same, and Dance did't care what shape they were, as long as they moved.  Everyone was arguing at full volume until suddenly a firm voice broke through the din: "Spheres."  And that was that."

"From that nothingness emerged an idea - me.  I'm not sure how.  And I, I had a dream.  That dream saw things, thoughts and ideas ... Those came first ..."

From random motion to order: diffusion and some of its implications

Why do we presume there must have been an initial motivation?  A beginning?  An objective?  Time?  Could there be another kind of story? 

Continued discussion in forum

  • Post by Monday evening
  • Paper reflecting impact of these stories on your thinking by Wednesday 6 pm