Thursday, July 9, 2009

(3) Smart Code

Mumbling and grumbling over all this business about code, I
happened to drop-in a bookshop specializing in used books.
Browsing I spotted a book that took hold of my attention. It
was by the late Heinz Pagels, entitled THE COSMIC CODE:
published back in 1982.

I bought the book, fully expecting a depth discourse on Quantum
Physics. But plowing towards the end of the book, I found what
really interested me. Pagels talks about what he believes is the
discovered order of the universe--that he calls the "cosmic code."
Pagels attempts a broad outline that seem characteristic of the
physical laws we have come to understand. Quoting Pagels,
from his book, pp. 292, 296-301.

" Invariant nature. A physical law is a proposition that something
always remains the same--an invariance.

" Universality and simplicity. The universality of physical laws is
perhaps their deepest feature--all events are subject to the same
universal grammar of material creation.

" Completeness. Physicists strive for completeness, because a
great theory cannot be a partial picture of nature but must give the
complete laws of a class of events--hence the quest for the grand
unified field theories.

" Relation to observation and experiment. Physical theory without
experiment is blind. The experimentalists keep the theorists honest.
And the theoretician must make a leap of the imagination, combining
new data with new theoretical ideas.

" Relation to mathematiics. Physical laws are expressed in the precise
language of quantitative mathematics. And mathematics makes the
theorist's statements unambiguous and hence they can be disproved
by an experiment.

"HOWEVER, physicists used to believe that they could capture all of
nature in their net of mathematics. But, remarkably, in modern quantum
theory the idea of a mathematical description of all of nature has
broken down. Individual quantum events are not subject to any
mathematical-physical law. The laws of physics are not deterministic
but statistical, a discovery which implies the end of a mathematical
description of all of nature."

So says Heinz Pagels. As I read him, Pagels says forget the math.
We just have to keep looking to discover any kind of Cosmic Code
that may/may not exist. We just need continue observing, and maybe
one day we will come to realize the Grand Understanding of the
universe and the Great Code that may stand behind the All of it.

After Pagels and the computer gurus, I nearly threw in the towel when
it comes to any kind of universal code. Then I remembered our good
lady, Mother Earth. These past many years we have been awash in
the discovery of Genetic Code. The discovery of the Double Helix
opened our eyes to an incredible world--consisting of Code.

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