Discover the Reality of
Scientific Mythology

 The Facts of Self-Animating Networks in Nature and a New, Realistic Role for the Mythic Imagination 

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The Mythological Implications of Complex Network Science

The Case for a
Scientific Mythology

>Summary Outline
>Extended Outline Short
>Extended Outline Full
>New Story of Science
>The Logic of Networks
>Networks Are Us
>What is Mythic Imagination
>What is Scientific Mythology
>Applying Scientific Mythology
 The Basic Progression of the Reasoning:


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> Summary Extended Outline -- Stage 1 <

A New Scientific Argument for Spiritual Animation in Nature
and Its Transformative Implications for Our Cultural Worldview

The Evidence

Science:  Evidence for non-random, disproportional, deterministic order creation that emerges unpredictably

Systems: Evidence of unpredictably emergent, autonomous self-organization in natural systems

Networks: Evidence of emergent operational networks that create, maintain, and adapt their systems

Information: Evidence for network processing of feedback into meaningful information with causal effects

Causation: Evidence that such network "meaning making" results in volitional acts with causal consequences

Spiritual Animation: Consequently, self-organizing networks animate their systems like “subjective spirits”

The New Reality of Self-Animating Nature
   The Mechanically Predictable AND The Spiritually Emergent
Reality: Nature is based in mechanistic physics but largely organized by unpredictably emergent, self-
determining networks that create order in ways which cannot be fully quantified or explained

The Necessity of Mythic Imagination to Understanding Reality

Knowing: A problem of comprehending Nature’s autonomous self-animating networks in rational terms

Psychology: The need for an intuitive mentality that perceives emergence and self-animating networks

Symbolism: Dynamical modeling of interdependency, emergence, and network autonomy through metaphor

Myth: Imagining emergence symbolically as magical action, and network autonomy as personified spirits

The Re-Education
The Cultural Transformation of a Scientific Mythology

Scientific Mythology: Correlating network science with mythic symbolism to reveal a new reality

Cultural Transformation: Shifting toward sustainable civilization through a scientifically mythical worldview

> Summary Extended Outline -- Stage 2 <

A New Scientific Argument for Spiritual Animation in Nature
and Its Transformative Implications for Our Cultural Worldview

NOTE: For information on the actual science from which these summaries
and extrapolations are derived, please see the References Page

The Evidence--of a Strange Nature
The unpredictably deterministic, disproportionally emergent, intentional order creation of complex dynamics

Science:  Strangely Disproportional Dynamics of Order Creation
    > Scientific study has revealed conditions of disorderly dynamic activity--or ways things happen--that unpredictably generate new order, referred to generally as the science of chaos and complexity. Some orderly effects and physical properties associated with these dynamics are not proportional to the preceding conditions from which they arise.
Because these forms and properties cannot be reduced to those from which they arise, thus they are termed emergent. This emergent order can be measured as specific changes. But since it arises from concurrently interdependent, partly disorderly interactions, that manifest synergistic effects, the actions that generate it cannot be fully identified and sequenced. The new order arises from disorder in a deterministic manner that is neither predictable nor random. Consequently, it is not predictable by the deterministic laws of mechanical physics. Thus it is cannot be causally explained. Further, complex dynamics can sustain the unpredictable order they generate over time, in an ongoing emergence that involves a dynamic phenomenon called self-organizing criticality.
     Emergence changes one set of forms into another in a strange disjunctive "leap." One set of properties and factors abruptly become a different set, with different effects. Thus it can be characterized as  "metamorphically transformative." This strange 'way that things happen' has been shown to pervade natural systems. Thus, we now are confronted by two dynamical modes of order creation, distinguishable as the predictably dependent ordering of mechanical physics and the unpredictably interdependent orderings of complex dynamics. From that distinction arises a concept of a bi-dynamical reality: science now provides evidence  for two different "ways that things happen."

Systems: Strangely Self-Organizing, Adaptive Systems
    > Complex adaptive systems, such as ecologies, economies, bodies, and minds, involve complexity’s disproportional, interdependent, synergistically creative dynamics. Emergent order creation in such systems produces autonomous self-organization of system actions. This unpredictable but self-determining self-ordering enables such systems to create, maintain, and adapt their own forms and operations in response to their environments. These emergent aspects of system behaviors have been shown to generate or influence most of the order around us--in disproportionally metamorphic, yet deterministic ways. Due to the disorderly ordering of their complex dynamics, such self-organizing systems cannot be fully described or directly controlled.

Networks: System Networks that are Strangely “More Than Their Systems”
    > Self-organization in complex systems derives from interdependent influences of feedback among system parts and from their environments. These feedback flows are processed into self-organizing system activities by an operational network. It is this system network that acts autonomously to order and direct a system's behaviors in unpredictable yet self-organizing and adaptive ways. A network's capacity to organize its system arises from elements of dynamical inconsistency or disorder in the flows of feedback. Though operational networks emerge from actions and properties of system parts, they are not identical with those actions or properties and cannot be predicted from them. Thus they cannot be causally reduced to their systems. The operational networks of complex systems are strangely "something more" than the quantifiable aspects of the system from which each emerges. Complex system networks act autonomously to order and adapt their systems.

Information: Strange Network Processing of Feedback Data into Meaningful Information
    > System networks emerge unpredictably, from flows of simultaneously interdependent feedback coursing among system parts--which they in turn manipulate to organize and direct system behavior. Networks accomplish this by somehow processing and interpreting the data of feedback as meaningful information about their systems and enviornments. This information is not identical with or reducible to the measurable, thus material, actions of system parts. It appears to be a strangely "thingless thing." Nonetheless, evidence shows that it enables networks to alter system operations in ways that optimize, sustain, and adapt them, resulting in materially causal effects. Networks can create and use information to willfully generate order.

Causation: The Strange Creativity of Emergent Order, System Networks, and Information

    > The preceding traits of complex dynamics, along with the systems and autonomous networks they generate, present us with a causal conundrum. Because emergent order creation arises disjunctively from preceeding conditions, and through synergistic interdependency involving disorganization, we cannot identify and sequence it as progressive causes and effects. Thus it is not fully explainable as a causal process in the terms of mechanical physics. Such a strangely creative, disporportional generation of order from disorder does not fit within a mechanistic worldview. That complex system networks use emergence to enable the interpretation of feedback data as meaningful but materially unquantifiable information is even more perplexing. Despite the inexplicable emergence of this immaterial network "meaning making,"
its effects are measurable as material changes in system behaviors and their influences on other systems. It even enables self-adapting network operations in systems that are not discreet living organisms, such as ecologies and economies.
     Thus, though evidence for emergent phenomena in general, and autonomous network agency in particular, is quantifiable, the exact events that cause them are not. Nonetheless, they constitute a pervasive source of order creation in Nature. They enable the formation, self-organization, and adaptive network operations of complex systems from microbes to human minds, societies, and the biosphere itself.
It is the ever-evolving interactive interdependency of autonomous networks, whose self-regulating agency involves intentional acts that derive from a form of subjective self-awareness, that give Nature its forms and functions. Those involve teleological purposes for which mechanical physics has no explanation. Human agency is but the most elaborate instance of this purposeful network autonomy, enabled by complexity's interdependent dynamics, which "scales up" from simple molecular systems to the vast synergistic interdependencies of human minds.
     In the terms of mechanistic physics, we must now confront a reality constituted not only by dependently causal, thus predictable events, but also interdependently synergistic, emergently creative, unpredictably self-determining ones--which we can only classify as strangely "a-causal."

Spiritual Animation: Complex Networks Strangely Inspire Their System’s Behaviors
     > Complex adaptive systems are emergently organized and directed by their network operations, which act in autonomously selective, unpredictable ways. These network operations manifest characteristic behaviors that constitute individualized "personalities." In doing so, their systems effectively "self-animate"--they "act as if alive" by "thinking for themselves." Such network operations closely resemble the archaic notion of myth's individualized, animating spirits and souls, which act to order the material world. The science of complex adaptive systems, with its strangely "self-inspiring" emergent networks, correlates with the mythological worldview of spiritually self-animating matter. We now have a science of "spiritual animation."

The Strange New Reality of Self-Animating Nature
   The Mechanically Predictable < > The Spiritually Emergent
               What we can Measure  AND  What we can only Imagine

Reality: A Strange New, Bi-dynamical Realm of Measurable and Immeasurable Order Creation
    > Our worldview is based upon the fully measurable, predictably deterministic, proportionally consistent, sequentially dependent order creation described by mechanical physics. But science now confronts us with the unpredictably deterministic, disproportionally creative, interdependently synergistic, thus ultimately unquantifiable ordering of emergence, with its autonomously self-animating complex system networks. Thus the ordering of reality arises paradoxically from two "ways that things happen," from two types of dynamic activities, sequentially dependent and synergistcally interdependent: Nature is bi-dynamically creative.
However, the dynamical character of emergent ordering, which cannot be measured and known in definitive, mechanistic terms and generates purposeful intentionality, constitutes a condition of "spiritual animation." This "spiritually emergent" ordering is so strange to the existing worldview of our ordinary pragmatic mentality, it must somehow be imagined to be appreciated.

The Strange Necessity of Mythic Imagination to Understanding Reality

Knowing: A Strange Knowing for a Strange Aspect of Reality
    > The unpredictably metamorphic creativity of emergence and its the
spiritually animating autonous system networks, are not comprehensible to self-consistent rationalism, sequential mechanistic modeling, or assumptions that all causal processes are potentially predictable thus controllable. To perceive and appreciate the synergistic dynamics of complexity, we require a reasonably irrational means of conceiving its mode of order creation arises logically from disorder. We requite a mode of modeling its metamorphic, willful order-creating agency. We need methods for thinking not only in the familiar terms of dependent dynamics but also the strange ones of interdependent dynamics.

Psychology: Changing Our Minds to Perceive Strangely
    > Knowing the existence of self-animating system networks requires a profound shift of mentality. We must surrender our habitual, pragmatic obsession with sequences which we seek to manipulate and control, in favor of a state of mind that can engage concurrently interdependent events, whose emergent networks can act autonomously and are beyond control. That requires an intuitive sensibility capable of experiencing these strange dynamics so that we can conceive irrational behavior.

Symbolism: Making Strangely Meaningful Models of Interdependent Network Dynamics
    > The necessary shift in our mentality requires appropriately complex dynamical modeling. Because interactive system operations that produce emergent self-animating networks cannot be completely sequenced and explained, they must be represented in a nonlinear, interactive manner. The paradoxical representations of metaphorical images and concepts serve this purpose by disrupting rational logic and its causal sequencing. In this way, they prompt an appropriately strange, intuitive mental experience of interdependent dynamics. Metaphoric symbolism provides an imaginal experience of the synergistic interdependency and emergent order creation indicated by the science, making conception of these strange dynamics meaningful.

Myth: Re-Imagining Reality through Strange Tales of Spiritual Animation
    > The archaic mythic imagination provides symbolization of the disproportionate creativity of complexity’s emergent order creation through the metaphors of metamorphic events, stories of "an other world," and personification of spirits, gods, and goddesses which willfully animate the world around us.
These "spiritual agents" model the diversified behavioral autonomy of complex networks, making the latter's agency in creating order from disorder tangible. Mythological motifs provide experienceable concepts of what complexity science provides evidence for but cannot fully explain.

The Strange Re-Education
The Cultural Transformation of a Scientific Mythology

Scientific Mythology: The Strangely Mythical New Science of a Strange Reality
    > With its insights into complexity and self-animating networks, science has reached a limit for definitive explanation and shed the dogma of mechanism, extending its logical insights into the paradoxical realm of myth’s other worldly, metamorphic reality: myth and science have converged.  Correlating their insights can prompt a new, more accurate, appreciation of reality's two modes of predictably dependent and unpredictably interdependent order creation.

Cultural Transformation: The Strange Pragmatism of a Mytho-Logically Scientific Society
     > The implications of the new science of self-animating systems confront us with the necessity of re-configuring our cultural sense of causality, thus our sense of what is practical, by accommodating to the reciprocal interdependency of Nature's autonomously self-animating networks. That cultural shift requires re-engaging our mytho-logical imagination as an essential mode of knowing "how the world actually works," and thus become able to "think like Nature acts."

NOTE: For information on the actual science from which these summaries
and extrapolations are derived, please see the References Page