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Evolution of

Complex
Systems
Lecture 7: Society, education, religion and
science

Peter Andras / Bruce Charlton


peter.andras@ncl.ac.uk
Objectives
 Multi-organism systems
 Human communications
 Human society
 Education system
 The system of religion
 The system of science

2
Organisms
 Multi-cellular systems made up of
inter-cellular communications
 Sub-systems of specialist
communications: tissues
 E.g., muscle tissue, nervous
system

3
Organism actions and
perceptions
 Actions: sequence of patterns of inter-
cellular communications
 E.g., limb movement
 Perception: environmental actions on
cells that are part of the organism,
changing their communications, and
changing in this way the pattern of
communications within the organism
 E.g., perception of light by
photoreceptors
4
Inter-organism
communications
 Organism actions on the
environment
 The changes in the environment
are perceived by another organism
through environment induced
changes in its own
communications
 E.g., sound emission, transmission
and reception 5
Referencing in inter-organism
communications
 Each communication action /
behaviour is determined by earlier
communication behaviours, which
are selected to be referred by the
current communication behaviour
 E.g., courtship or fighting
behaviour in animals

6
Multi-organism systems –
1
 Organisms act as communication units
by performing communication
behaviours
 The communications are frequent and
generate a dense communication
cluster surrounded by rare
communications with other organism
communication units
 E.g., a community of dogs, which
communicate more frequently with 7
other dogs than with other animals
Multi-organism systems –
2
 Small systems: courtship, fighting,
offspring raising
 Large systems: ant and bee
colonies, human society

8
Human individuals
 Organism with many sub-system
 Has self-model – nervous system
 Has self-model of the nervous
system – mind

9
Mind and language
 Mind = self model of the nervous
system, generated by the double
contingency of ‘who am I’
 Language of mind: discussing
about itself – ‘who am I’

10
Sub-systems of the nervous
system
 Visual,auditory, motor, etc. sub-
systems
 Self-modelling associative sub-
system

11
Language sub-systems
 Language understanding sub-
system: Wernicke area
 Language behaviour production
sub-system: Broca area (speech
production)

12
Behavioural language
 Animals:courtship, fighting, body
language, vocalisation
 Humans: facial gestures, body
language, vocalisation, speech

13
Specialist behavioural
communications
 Human language
 Specialized system of inter-human
communications

14
Human communications –
1
 Words: sequences of phonemes
 Sentences: sequences of words
 Communications: set of sentences

15
Human communications –
2
 Rules of phoneme
consecutiveness: very sharp
conditional distributions
 Rules of word consecutiveness:
grammar of the language
 Rules of large scale
communications: semantic rules of
referencing between sentences
16
The system of human
communications
 Human communications referring
to other human communications
 Dense cluster of communications
with rare communications around
(e.g., communications with a dog)
 Society = system of human
communications

17
Actions of the society
 Sequence of human
communications that induce
actions of humans (communication
units) on the environment
 E.g., calling closer another human
or executing a scientific
experiment

18
Perceptions of the society
 Environment induced changes in
communication units (humans)
induce human communications
 Such communications may differ
from the most expected ones
conveying perceptions for the
society system

19
Meaningful
communications
 Refer to other human
communications and are referred
by others following the
continuation rules of human
communications
 Contribute to the reproduction /
maintenance and expansion of the
society system
 E.g., gossiping
20
Meaningless
communications
 Communications that lead to un-
referable communications
 Such communications are about
paradoxes, i.e. case when it is
impossible to decide whether the
communication is correct or not
according to the rules of
communications
 The correctness refers to the semantic
correctness not to the grammar or word
phoneme order (these are very sharply 21
defined)
Reproduction of the
society
 Generation of new communications
that fit into the society system
 Acquiring new communication
units: reproduction of human
organisms, attracting new humans
to participate in the system of
society

22
Many societies
A society is defined by its
communications that are built
using the society’s language
 Each human language defines a
society
 Societies may compete for
communication units
 E.g., multi-ethnic societies
23
Sub-systems of societies
 Specialized human
communications dealing with some
part of the society
 Sub-systems have an apparent
function within the system of
society
 E.g., political system – power
distribution, science system –
scientific knowledge production 24
Education
 Providing the communication rule
knowledge to humans
 Socialisation
 E.g., schools, family education

25
Family education
 Basic socialisation: kids learn a
language, its use and related
behaviours
 Part of education, especially in
early human societies

26
Schools
 Systematic education of kids about
advanced knowledge that they
refer to in their life, while deriving
their communications
 E.g., teaching math, physics,
biology

27
The reproduction sub-
system
 Education deals with reproduction of
communications that provide the
foundation for the future expansion of
the society communications
 Education forms a sub-system of the
society that deals with the reproduction
of common knowledge
 Common knowledge: usually referred by
many human communications within
the society
28
Un-common knowledge
 Society communications may lead to
paradoxes in semantic terms
 E.g., fire for early societies which didn’t
know the use of fire
 Dealing with such problems is essential
to eliminate their damaging effect
 The un-common knowledge deals with
such problems
 E.g., the gods bring the fire
29
Religion
 The religion contains the un-
common knowledge
 It provides explanations of
common knowledge paradoxes
fitting these into the system of
society
 The religion is a specialist sub-
system of the society, dealing with
the un-common knowledge
30
Scientific knowledge
 Communications that can be
referred in the society system, of
which correctness (i.e., whether
they are part or not of the society)
is verified experimentally
 Experimental check: action,
predicted perception, checked
prediction
 E.g., physics, chemistry
31
Scientific, common, and un-
common knowledge
A good part of science is not part
of common knowledge
 Science competes with the system
of un-common knowledge
 A part of science is integrated into
common knowledge by expansion
of the education system (see
universities)
32
The language of science
 Reduced human language with
more specific rules, with sharper
continuation distributions
 The communications are about
whether a communications can be
proven to be correct or not by
some experimental validation or by
referring to proven
communications 33
Actions and perceptions of
science
 Actions: experimental check or set
of references to earlier proven
communications
 Perceptions: communications
generated after the execution of
the experiment or references that
trigger new scientific
communications
34
Meaningful and
meaningless
 Meaningful: something that fits
into the experimentally validatable
/ falsifiable context
 Meaningless: communications that
lead to experimentally un-
checkable communications
 E.g., religious communications

35
Summary – 1
 Multi-organism
systems
 Humans: nervous system, brain,
mind
 Human communications and
language

36
Summary – 2
 Society = system of human
communications
 Education – reproduction sub-
system of common knowledge
 Religion – the sub-system of
uncommon knowledge
 Science – the sub-system of
scientific knowledge
37
Q&A – 1
1. Is it true that a limb movement can be
considered as a sequence of
communication patterns between the
cells of an organism ?
2. Is it true that hunting a prey is a set of
communications that constitute a
communication system ?
3. Is it true that the communications
between ants constitute the ant
society/colony system ? 38
Q&A – 2
4. Is it true that the humans communicate
within themselves about their own
identity forming the system of the mind ?
5. Is it true that there is no specialized
brain area for production of human
speech ?
6. Is it true that human language
communications constitute the human
society ?
7. Is it true that the communications
between a human and its dog is part of 39
the society ?
Q&A – 3
8. Is it true that education deals with the
reproduction of communications making
up the un-common knowledge ?
9. Is it true that religious communications
are meaningless in the system of
science ?
10. Is it true that the actions of science
are sequences of human
communications resulting in scientific
experiments ? 40

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