God and the Mandelbrot set

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Offline gerrit

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« on: September 04, 2019, 04:10:15 AM »
Here's my coffeeshop philosophy regarding the philosophical implications of fractals and so on.

Let's start by showing how there is no need for God according to fractal theory.

Scientists have figured out the world is described by the "standard model" (SU(2)XU(1) electroweak + SU(3) strong + classical General Relativity) which is a bunch of simple equations. Simple is a relative concept, but it's simple in that a human can understand it with, say, a decade of study, assuming a brain in working order. Nothing has ever been discovered that is not consistent with that simple theory.

Simple surely compared to the complexity of the universe: starry sky, dogs, volcanos, the ocean, bipeds stammering "fractals", and what not. That is not in those equations! Surely such complexity can not come out of such simple equations!

Yes it can, said Mandelbrot. Look at \( z \leftarrow z^2+c \). Such a simple equation, yet by zooming you can encounter more and more complex structures (like spiderwebs: https://fractalforums.org/image-threads/25/gerrit-images/565/msg3696#msg3696) that are not built into it in any way. So in a similar way the simple equations of physics can lead to complex stuff like bananas and Einsteins.

Linkback: https://fractalforums.org/fractal-philosophy/23/god-and-the-mandelbrot-set/3045/

Offline gerrit

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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 04:21:46 AM »
Let's continue by showing how there is a need for God according to fractal theory.

Some people say that deep zooming into the Mandelbrot set is pointless as we'll never see anything new. This is of course nonsense, but sillier things have been said, just turn on your propaganda box to any channel.

But it is true that zooming into a random location near the Mandelbrot set gives you either black (inside) or "any-color" (outside), as the probability of hitting a point on the boundary is zero. And even if you won that lottery against \( \infty \) odds, odds are it would be uninteresting like \( c = i \).

So how do you get something out of nothing like https://fractalforums.org/image-threads/25/mandelbrot-set-julia-morphings/708/msg16470#msg16470 out of \( z^2+c \)? Well, you have to zoom intelligently.

OK, it's clear where I'm going I think: In a similar fashion the equations of nature (standard model) have the capability of producing, amongst more interesting things, us, but only if the "initial conditions" (the analogon of the "zoom strategy" in M-set explorations) have been chosen intelligently by someone name God.

Offline hobold

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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 02:37:39 PM »
I am very ambivalent on this topic. My world view is decidedly scientific, in the sense that I can see how much more successful scientific explanations are in enabling humans to shape the world. Clearly, knowing the right explanation of effects in nature gives us much more power over the world. Contrast that to believing in some unfathomable divine being shaping the world in ways that mere mortals are not meant to understand. The latter will not lead to human empowerment.

Despite this, very subjectively, "spiritually" you could say, I feel a deep gratitude. I am glad that I am living in this wonderful world; that I was given the privilege to see and explore it; that I was given the head start of some education to sort my observations and experiences into an orderly explanation of almost everything around.

Now, this gratitude, in my understanding, has two ends: one that extends the "thank you!", and one that receives it. I am the grateful one; god (in no particular variety of any one particular religion) is at the other end. In that loose and vague sense, I do believe in some god - I feel like there is someone to be thankful towards. However, beyond that I do not believe in specific divine ideologies.


I can't help noticing, though, that throughout human history, there never seems to have been a large society that thrived for extended periods of time completely without any kind of religious beliefs. Something of this kind always seems to be at least a big chunk of culture's gamut. The only exceptions seem to be scientific eras (and they are not quite as new and rare as we Europeans often think).

So, since I "believe" in the principle of evolution, I must conclude that at least some religions must have had some effect on their respective societies that improved the chances of survival of that society. That doesn't mean that religions must generally be good; but it does mean that some religions helped their believers to survive and to thrive.

In other words: I don't think that religious believers are unquestionably dumb. If that religion has helped the ancestors to survive, then descendants adopting that same religion might well be a smart move overall.

Offline blob

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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 03:36:02 PM »
The standard model is not a set of equations akin to the mandelbrot formula IMHO.

It is more like a hodge-podge of complex mathematical modeling relying on a number of constants that have been determined by empirical measurement and for whom science has no explanation at all whatsoever. Change the value of any of these constants even very slightly and the whole model stops working. This is very unlike the mandelbrot formula I would think.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 03:47:40 PM by blob »

Offline lkmitch

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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019, 05:46:06 PM »
So how do you get something out of nothing like https://fractalforums.org/image-threads/25/mandelbrot-set-julia-morphings/708/msg16470#msg16470 out of \( z^2+c \)? Well, you have to zoom intelligently.

OK, it's clear where I'm going I think: In a similar fashion the equations of nature (standard model) have the capability of producing, amongst more interesting things, us, but only if the "initial conditions" (the analogon of the "zoom strategy" in M-set explorations) have been chosen intelligently by someone name God.

But the whole notion of something interesting depends on one's definition of interesting. Rendering the Mandelbrot set solely by iteration count is easy, but can lead to uninteresting images in many locations/magnifications. However, that relies on only one aspect of the dynamics; using other aspects may reveal structures that are very interesting to another viewer. So, perhaps there isn't any intelligent zooming needed, as interest lies everywhere. It's all in how you look at it.

Offline mclarekin

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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 05:04:41 AM »
@ Hobold. That is my view too.

I have no problem with religion (although i personally see it mainly as a relic from less enlighten days), but I surely wish religions would remove all of the obviously wrong stuff from their doctrines, especially that added to suit the  greed of those who were once in power.

Offline hobold

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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 10:01:37 AM »
especially that added to suit the  greed of those who were once in power.

That is a failing of many ideologies, not just religious ones. Even a largely scientific ideology can exhibit that particular flaw. I guess it's just too easy to gradually slide from healthy survival instincts, by claiming ever slightly more resources, into pure greed.

Offline Fraktalist

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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 01:31:33 AM »
I couldn't word it as good, but I agree with hobold.

And would like to add:
Just getting to know the Mset helped me a lot with finding my place.
The world is so full of beauty we take for granted and overlook.
And the Mset mirrors a lot of that beauty in many more ways than obvious at first glance.
Finding patterns emerging from such simplicity, finding rules that seem to apply in the mathematical realm as well as in life, our cosmos.. eye opening.
Put simply, I kind of see it in the following way:
There's things that work and that thrive. And there are things that don't work and won't survive. Between order and chaos, patterns emerge that make "sense".
This is evolution, starting with the big bang, pickung up speed with life and now, continuing with the evolution of evolution we see in modern technology and what's about to come, which will blow our minds just as much as the smartphone would seem to a bronze age peasant.
The controlling force is "what is better, what gives an advantage".
Call it god, call it math, emergence, call it science or fractal, call it whatever you like..
It's wonderful.
And the incredible unlikeliness of living at just about this perfect 100 year timespan-tipping point into a very very different new world..
it gives me goosebumps.

Life's good. :)


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