What will change everything?

That’s this year’s Edge question, as posed by John Brockman, with answers from an array of big thinkers.  Here’s one I like very much from Stuart Kauffman, as a sample; much interesting reading at the site.

John Brockman’s question is dramatic: What will change everything? Of course, no one knows. But the fact that no one knows may be the feature of our lives and the universe that does change everything. Reductionism has reigned as our dominant world view for 350 years in Western society. Physicist Steven Weinberg states that when the science shall have been done, all the explanatory arrows will point downward, from societies to people, to organs, to cells, to biochemistry, to chemistry and ultimately to physics and the final theory.

I think he is wrong: the evolution of the biosphere, the economy, our human culture and perhaps aspects of the abiotic world, stand partially free of physical law and are not entailed by fundamental physics. The universe is open.

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