Pascual Jordan With Max Born and Werner HeisenbergPascual Jordan contributed to the mathematical formulation of matrix mechanics, the first form of quantum mechanics. In a measurement of position, for example, as performed with the gamma-ray microscope, "the electron is forced to a decision. We compel it to assume a definite position; previously it was, in general, neither here nor there; it had not yet made its decision for a definite position If by another experiment the velocity of the electron is being measured, this means:
The other night as I discussing evolutionary theory and the prime directive in life live long enough to reproduce in my Introduction to Philosophy course at Mt. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.
These are games; one must first answer. And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect.
Given the utter brutishness of life on planet earth, where the dictum eat or be eaten is a literal fact, the real issue is how we would want to persist living here at all, particularly given how much we will suffer only to end up dying. In other words, what is it that can sustain us to remain here on this earthly terrain?
Here, I would argue, that Darwinian evolution provides us with a deeply insightful answer, which is intertwined with how self-reflective awareness operates when confronted with an apparently intolerable environment.
Homo sapiens have been both blessed and cursed with an evolved brain that developed an inordinate capacity for sophisticated languages.
This allowed us a deep reservoir of varying forms of self-awareness, where we could virtually project into the future all sorts of end-game scenarios while on the other end of the spectrum being able to reflect and ruminate over past actions and failed plans of action.
In sum, we went beyond the boundaries of mere instinct and got a penetrating glimpse into the horridness of what existence is like not only for us on occasion but also for the vast majority of differing species who struggle to survive. It is in this context, why, as humans, we have been driven to find an overarching reason to persist in this life and death game.
In other words, the great philosophical question is not whether to terminate ourselves or not but what will it take for us to live out the duration of our life span to its fullest?
Lest we forget, evolution is not a prescription for who or what should survive, but rather an after the fact description of those life systems that do emerge and which can successfully replicate their winning combinations to the next successive generation.
In this way, not only is evolution blind it is not a force at all. There is no drive in nature towards anything, since that very term is itself merely our own limited way of imputing intention upon a process that is devoid of it.
Another way to understand life and its complex emergence is to ponder its absence. Nothing individually succeeds for very long on this planet and those organisms that have are an infinitesimally small minority compared to those who didn't get the chance. It would appear that the universe we find ourselves in isn't one with a purpose, despite the very odd and at first counter intuitive fact that those life forms which maturate goal oriented behavior tend to flourish.
Much of this, though, is directly correlated to how our central nervous system advanced, especially in light of its triune confusion where our reptilian, mammalian, and cerebral aspects don't always conjoin in perfect harmony.
The instinctual part of our brain does everything unconsciously and must react instantaneously when confronted with its own termination.
Here the operative instruction, coded over eons of trial and error events where we have no records of how many failures there may have beenis to keep us alive and breathing. I got a first hand glimpse of this the other day surfing some rather large waves from Hurricane Rosa at Newport Beach.
I had one particular wipeout where I got tumbled over and over again and as I was losing oxygen my instincts went into over drive and my body reacted accordingly and I found myself on the surface of the water gasping for air.
Whenever our bodies are put into critical situations, we are fortunate that our hindbrain kicks in and responds accordingly. However, when it comes to our emotional selves, what neuroscientist Paul D.
MacLean terms the paleomammalian structure, though much of its biocheminstry transpires at levels below our fully conscious threshold, provides us with some latitude with which to modify its impact though this varies widely with each individual and is dependent on a number of factors including environmental.
At times we can play out the potential consequences of one action versus another. But what has been praised as our Darwinian gift has also too often become our Darwinian curse. Every parent, I suspect, who has a teenage daughter or son who comes home later than expected has thought up all sorts of bad case scenarios and has suffered simply because of such ideas.
In a way we can imagine too much and much of that is not to our benefit. Instead of having our head buried in the ground looking for something to eat, like our distant cousins the sand piper, we look too far ahead and think too laterally about what may or may not happen.
And, as such, we can become victims to our own overwrought speculations. Thus, it would appear that our brains evolved a buffering system so as to offset our increased knowledge of death and its apparent universal applicability.
Otherwise, our existential circumstances would be too overwhelming and we may simply collapse under the realization of where we find ourselves.
As I often tell my classes when discussing evolutionary theory, think of being on a roller coaster, with all sorts of terrifying twists and turns, and having the foreknowledge that at the end of the ride it goes off the track into a mountain of fire and everyone dies.
How can one stay seated on such a ride? Wouldn't we want to jump at some point, realizing all too well how badly it will end? Or, put differently and more in line with how we have reversed Camus' great philosophical query, what would it take for us to stay on the roller coaster and not bail too quickly?
There are multiple answers, but two stand out: The first way to remain riding would be to distract ourselves from what is really happening. As each of us know too well, we do this during much of our day, whether daydreaming about what we would rather be doing or being so engaged in what we are doing so as to not to get bogged down with unnecessary philosophical conjectures.ontents I.
The Edelman Awards Gala.
5. INFORMS Prize Winner. II. The Operations Research Profession Introduction—Terry P. Harrison. 9. INFORMS in the Age of Analytics —Anne G. Robinson. It was a great step forward for genetics when Muller, the Nobel prize winner, found that the frequency of mutations in Drosophila could be appreciably increased by artificial means.
When the flies are subjected to X rays the mutations become more frequent.
May 29, · Gerald Maurice Edelman (July 1, – May 17, ) was an American biologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work with Rodney Robert Porter on the immune system.
Edelman's Nobel Prize-winning research concerned discovery of the structure of antibody molecules. . Nobel Prize-winner, Professor Gerald Edelman has spent thirty years researching how the brain functions. He concludes that the ten billion or more brain and nerve cells we have arrange themselves into groups or 'maps' that correspond to our experience.
In its Nobel Prize press release in , the Karolinska Institutet lauded Edelman and Porter's work as a major breakthrough: "The impact of Edelman's and Porter's discoveries is explained by the fact that they provided a clear picture of the structure and mode of action of a .
winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery that most stomach ulcers are caused by a strain of bacteria Charles Waterton (–). winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on visual perception Alfred Russel Wallace (–).