Friday, February 20, 2009

The Two Natures of Complexity

It appears to me that there are two types of complexity. There is apparent complexity—the sort of thing whereby one says “It is difficult to drive a car” or, as a child says, “This walking is difficult business.” Then there is absolute complexity—the sort of complexity that does not fade even when we understand the entire process. God is the ultimate absolute complexity, and naturally laws and creation mimic Him. Mathematics is complex even after we understand it. The origins of such distinctions in complexity are still baffling. It seems to be that it is a sort of overwhelming sensation of numerics that defines apparent complexity. By this I mean that man attatches an emotional parasite on the situation. To him it is complex because his emotions tell him it is complex. Then there is the sort of man, and, of course, God, who recognizes a situation for what it is and still appreciates the beauty in the engineering of the whole experience. In a way, there is a sort of emotional attatchment to such beauty as well, but it is an emotional experience guided by a principled response to a stimulating situation. A programmer, when he has completed software to make a rocket ship launch into space, understands full well how every little bit of his software operates. Nevertheless, it is his understanding of the situation that concludes him to a sense of natural complexity. The whole situation of actual complexity is quite similar, if not somehow connected, to the situation of design. The emotional man perceives the design of God when he does not understand how something works. The man with the blessing of a scientific and psychological understanding of an event, however, denotes design because of his understanding. Of course, we are still in the infancy of our understanding of such phenomena, but perhaps to someone one day it will prove useful.


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