Thursday, November 21, 2002

There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:

Ants--they aren't strong,
but they store up food for the winter.

Rock badgers -- they aren't powerful,
but they make their homes among the rocky cliffs.

Locusts--they have no king,
but they march like an army in ranks.

Lizards--they are easy to catch,
but they are found even in kings' palaces.

- Proverbs 30:24-28

The Locusts caught me off gaurd this morning. That they have no king but are organized like an army would make them an emergent system. Emergence is a powerful way of explaining the world and has been quite popular as of late. Jordon recently posted a link to the Nov. 28, 2001 article The emergent new order: how how self-organizing systems are made to order for ants, cities, software and terrorists. Most of the material on emergence I’ve read has been quite hostile to the intelligent design view. Spontaneous Generation in the Exploring Emergence active essay from the MIT Media Laboratory would be an example.

I was surprised to find the chief insight of emergent systems, that organization does not need to be centralized in a 3500 year old religious book of wisdom. What does it mean? I don’t know …


No comments: