“Nature Is Orderly, Regular, And Has Patternedness”


Dear Internet Search Person:

Thank you for visiting my blog.  It is not a very good one as far as discussing these deep questions goes — at least, its proprietor is not particularly qualified for such discussions.


I do believe that Nature is patterned;  the question is, can its patternedness survive for long in our minds if crammed into a conception of order and regularity?  I would guess not;  and I think that to be alive to the patterned nature of our existence is far more important than establishing an ordered regularity to our thoughts about Nature.  We are always learning things that put our previous physical, cosmological, even chemical certainties into a precarious position…order is something we impose on the world through theorizing, and that order is useful to us just until it ceases to be useful.  But “regularity” kills every theory deader than a doornail with some speed, I think.  I believe we’re entering into a time when, merely due to our increasing observational acuity, we can have no theories about the world that don’t incorporate a bit of “wiggle room”…room for atypical observations.  We used to argue about epicycles.

Now, it’s all epicycles anyway.

The only question is:  are they the right epicycles?

I thank you, and Thomas Kuhn thanks you, for your interest.  We all have some catching-up to do.  Some jumping-on to do, I think.

Our telescopes won’t wait for us, to show what’s been captured in their lenses.

That, anyway, is my preliminary answer to your implied question.

I may have more later, when I know more later.


One response to ““Nature Is Orderly, Regular, And Has Patternedness”

  1. I’m not sure I entirely grasp the distinction you’re drawing. If nature is patterned, must it not be also orderly? I mean, obviously it isn’t always orderly, but it can still be disorderly in an orderly way.

    Regularity, though, that’s the one that gets me. Again, a pattern suggests to me that there is regularity, but not necessarily simple regularity. But does regularity require simplicity? Maybe it does. I don’t need it to, but maybe it does anyway.

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